- Megan Morrow
The Three Worst Kinds of Customers - and Why You Should Avoid Them!
People who start their relationship with you poorly
For example, every so often when I was working at a jewellery store, customers would come in and be extremely apprehensive about leaving their item at the store because they felt as though they would not get the same item back that they had dropped off. Now, I think this whole idea of jewelry stores secretly swapping out people’s precious stones for fake replicas is an urban legend. My parents have been in the jewelry business for over 40 years and have connections in the jewelry business worldwide. They have never heard a legitimate story about this happening anywhere in the world. I also feel as though the stories you hear about this apparently happening tend to be extremely vague and it happened to a friend of a friend or a cousin’s mother in law.
There is something to be said for the fact that some people are overly cautious in general and you should help educate them and ease their anxiety. One way you can do this is to suggest that the customer check out your reviews, website, and social media pages so they can develop an understanding that you are indeed a reputable company.
However, some people have blinders on and they cannot see past their initial assumptions and preconceived ideas. These are the customers who you should avoid. These people have very strong views (that are wrong) in an area in which they likely have no expertise.
All in all, customers like this chose to begin their relationship with your business by accusing you of things that had never happened, would never happen, and likely they know absolutely nothing about. I can almost guarantee you that a customer who lacks this much self awareness will be nothing but headaches throughout the entire business relationship.
People who want you to work for free
I live in Ontario, Canada, and as many people know, Canada has universal healthcare. A very basic way to explain how this works is that everyone in Ontario has something called a health card, that health card has a special number assigned to only that individual and that number is used to bill the government and pay the doctor or healthcare professional treating someone. It is very important to keep your health card current and renew it when it expires (just like a drivers license).
Most doctors' offices refuse to see patients whose health cards are not up to date because they cannot bill for the doctor without a valid health card number. If they do agree to see you, they will likely charge a small fee to cover the costs of the visit. When this is explained to an individual, a lot of individuals become very agitated.
These individuals tend to say things like, “doctors make enough money”. In other words, these individuals feel as though because they did not renew their health card, doctors should see them for free and not make any money for their time or expertise.
The entitlement these individuals have is so dumbfounding to me. These individuals should be avoided. These individuals do not see your value, nor do they respect you. Due to this, this kind of dynamic will likely never benefit you in any way.
People who are only looking for a good deal
Customers in today's times tend to be well educated about various things they purchase and they tend to shop around for the best price. This is not a bad thing.
Sometimes customers will come into your store and they may be there for the very first time because they are trying to find the best price on an item. They may discover that they really like not only the prices but the customer service they receive and various other things that set your business apart.
It is also always a good idea to give people a deal on things. Regardless of the industry, people want to feel like they made a smart purchase and they did not overpay. Offering free shipping can also be a great incentive for someone to shop your store as opposed to your competitions.
All of that being said, some people use price as the only determining factor when they make a purchase. These customers should be avoided. These customers generally put little emphasis on important characteristics of your product and your competitors' products. They do not care that you may charge a higher price, but offer a much higher quality product than your competitors. The main issue with people who care about price above all else is that it is unlikely they will become a loyal and longtime customer as they are always looking for the best price possible.
In conclusion, having an attitude that you should avoid potential customers or even send customers away because they are difficult to deal with, is very entitled. While these customers may be difficult, a new or growing business should never take the approach of not wanting to serve certain customers. This approach can really only be taken when the organization is financially strong enough to send customers away because serving those customers will not benefit them.
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