Over the course of my years in business, whether it’s online or offline, there has always been the occasional dissatisfied customer.

What you do next will determine whether they become a raving fan, – or a thorn in your side.

On these rare occasions, I always treat them in a way I was taught many years ago at my first ever business seminar.


The speaker said…

“The Customer’s Perception is the Reality”.


It didn’t make much sense initially, but then I got it…


“If the customer ‘BELIEVES’ he got a bum deal from you, then he DID get a bum deal from you”.



The customer’s perception of what he received from you IS the reality.

And over the years it’s happened from time to time that I got a customer who wasn’t happy for some real or perceived reason. That’s life and you can’t do anything about it.

But when this happens, I remember what the guy at the seminar said, and I go thru my tried and tested routine and come out the other side smiling with a new, possibly long term, raving fan customer aboard.

You have to understand that on occasions like this it’s no good getting on your high horse and arguing the point with this customer.  If you do that, it can only ever end badly for you.

The customer really is always ‘right’.

The thing is, if he believes he got poor value for money, then that’s the story he’ll pass to his buddies and business associates.  And you know what they say, – that bad news travels 10X faster than good news, right?  And before you know it, your name is mud around town.

That’s why it’s essential you put this right – correctly and immediately!

So when this happens to you, I encourage you to view it as an opportunity to reveal to your customer exactly how far you’re willing to go to make HIM happy, – to show HIM what’s possible.

Pull out all the stops and ask this person “What would YOU like me to do to put this right for YOU?

Most times, he’ll simply appreciate your offer and not ask for much at all.  On other occasions, you might get asked for a refund – in which case you hand it over immediately and with good grace and a genuine ‘thank you’ for trying.  But an even better idea is to get them on skype, speak with them and OFFER things over and above what they’ve paid for.  Offer a bonus product for FREE complete with an extra 6 months support or whatever.  Completely blow him away with your generosity and attitude.

This will be totally unexpected, because most people don’t behave like this.  By nature we tend to think that ‘we’ are always right, especially if we can justify this position by telling ourselves that… No-one else has complained about this product so it MUST be OK – so why are you complaining?

Don’t fall into the trap of believing you’re never wrong.  Being ‘right’ is only ever a subjective thing, and your ‘right‘ could well be another person’s ‘totally wrong‘.

Don’t treat these occasions as an inconvenience.  Think of it as a chance to shine.  Give this customer Five Star treatment.  Treat him like he bought the $5k package from you, (because the last thing you really want to do is hand back $5k – right?).

I wrote about this on an IM forum a while ago, and of the many replies it received, one stood out indelibly in my mind.  It went as follows…

I rarely get complaints, but when I do I refund straight away.  That way I can move on and not allow my energy to be sucked by some vampire!

Can you believe the arrogance behind this person’s response, that he would consider someone a ‘blood sucking vampire’ because he lodges some sort of complaint.

I urge you not to go down this path.

Instead, if you handle it the way I’ve described, I promise you pretty much any unhappy customer is gonna come away from your conversation feeling like a million dollars.  He’ll be on an absolute high.

And provided you do the ‘make-good’ things you’ve promised to do, together with follow up emails to make sure he’s now a happy chappie, then the chances are they will now become a raving fan, and will probably even buy from you again.  And it won’t have cost you anything but a bit of humility, understanding, time, and maybe a few bucks.

Even better, they’ll happily shout the news to their social media friends about the unbelievable level of service you provided.

Try it.  It works 🙂

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Thanks guys !


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