I hope that it’s something that you never have to deal with…..an unhappy customer. There is nothing worse than pouring your heart into a quilt and having your customer not love it as much as you do! If this is something you are going through , nothing I say is going to make everything perfect. But, hopefully the tips that I share in this post will help you move on as quickly as possible.
Make a Plan
The best way to deal with an unsatisfied customer is come up with a plan before it happens. When you are dealing with an upset customer, emotions are running high and it’s hard to think clearly. Having a plan to fall back on will help you keep your wits about you. You could say, “In this situation, my policy is……..” or “I know you are upset, here is what I propose…..” That doesn’t mean that you can’t change your plan, but it’s nice to have something already in mind.
For example, if there is a technical error that I made on a quilt, I will offer them a partial refund. For instance, if I used the wrong design, wrong thread color, or had tucks on the backing, I would proactively offer a discount on the quilt. But if it was an issue of a misunderstanding, I might offer a discount on a future quilt.
Even if you are putting together your plan, it may be hard to know what to do. In this case, I always suggest that you go out of your way to make it right. Depending on the situation, here are some concessions you could offer:
- A discount on the next quilt
- A partial refund
- Re-quilting a problem area
- Free batting or other incentive
Try not to take it personally
When I had my first (of a few) unhappy customer, it really bummed me out. I was positive that my quilting business was done (it’s easy to let those negative thoughts build up). Try to remind yourself that it’s nothing personal and that you will move on from this experience.
Learn from the experience.
Once the situation is over and done, take a few moments and see if there is anything to be learned from the experience. For instance, my first unhappy customer was upset that the pink thread that I used on the back of her quilt showed up on the white front of her quilt. When she told me she wanted white thread on the front and pink on the back, I knew that it might be a problem. But, I was so desperate for her business that I thought I could make it work. But, obviously, I was wrong. To this day, I refuse to use two different colors of thread on the back and front of a quilt. It was a painful lesson to learn, but I definitely learned it!
Keep Your Lips Sealed
Never, ever, ever, ever bad mouth a customer or situation to anyone (well, maybe except your husband). This is a small industry, and, trust me, word really gets around. The last thing you want is to be viewed as unprofessional!
What about you? Have you had an unhappy customers? How did you deal with it?