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Dealing with an Unhappy Customer

I hope that it’s something that you never have to deal with… 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.

Compensating Customers

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?

6 Comments on Dealing with an Unhappy Customer

  1. I have had one repeat customer that was unhappy. It was a miscommunication on quilting density (she wanted it SUPER dense and I did loosely, fitting it to the design of the quilt). I asked her what she felt would be a good solution to the situation, and she felt a refund of the quilting (not return shipping costs) would make her feel better about the situation. I agreed, because customer service is top priority to me and I wanted her to be happy with the outcome. Even if she chooses never to use me again, I know that the situation ended on a positive note for her and that makes me feel better about the situation. It was worth every penny I gave back. I also learned to ALWAYS ask about quilting density with all my customers.

  2. I have had only 1 unhappy customer. She didn’t tell me when she pu first quilt. She called a few days later to ck on the top she had. I had already quilted it for her. When she came to pick it up I didn’t charge her anything as she was unhappy. It was just a wallhanging. I did however give her a # for a VERY expensive perfect quilter:)

  3. I have been very lucky to not have any customer unhappy with my quilting, but there always is a first time, so I appreciate your wisdom and will remember! Great website – love it!!!

  4. This is good advise. I am going to make sure I have a plan before I take in my first quilt. I am so excited to get started and I know that I still do not know what I do not know (did you follow that?). Thanks for sharing.

  5. Excellent advice, thank you so much.

  6. I had one customer call me to let me know that she was not happy with the quilting I did. Of course in my eyes it was fab. In her eyes …not so much. I took the quilt back and took out every one of those stitches, rebatted it at no cost and quilted it again. Results? Happy customer and many many referrals. Acknowledge the misunderstanding and fix it. End of story.

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