How to Handle Unsatisfied Customers

by Chris Atley

I had something interesting happen this week, and I’m sharing it because I don’t think a lot of coaches / mentors are always sharing real business challenges. It isn’t always rosy and magical with butterflies, even for industry leaders. There are challenges and it is all about how you handle them that will make or break you.

I had someone actually threaten to report me as fraudulent recently. This was all over a payment under $100.00 I might add. To be honest, it wasn’t so much the amount that bothered me, but the way this person behaved. I haven’t witnessed behavior like this since my insurance days, where people were trying to sue our corporate clients for everything under the sun. We definitely saw the greed come out in people.

Unfortunately, this particular person was using scare tactics and bullying to get their own way. Sure, I’ve had some people want refunds in the past. One person even made a charge back (where one has their credit card carrier reverse the charge), and told their credit card carrier they never authorized the charge even though there was a signed contract in place. It happens. C’est la vie.

Read on to learn more and how to move through these situations.

I share these stories with you so that you can rest assured that these issues are normal, and will unfortunately happen more often the larger your business grows. It’s okay. Do not take anything personally. If you uphold your business values and ethics to the best of your ability, then you have nothing to feel badly about. And, if by chance you don’t; make amends if possible, forgive yourself, learn the lesson and move on.

Here are 5 knowledge nuggets to help you move through these situations.

1. If you are a coach, or other similar type of service provider, know that your clients are responsible for their results. Actually, this applies to other businesses and our society in general to be honest. Most people are looking to blame someone else for their situation or circumstances. YOU create everything happening in your life. Your thoughts are responsible. The faster you can accept that, the faster you will start seeing the results in your own business. If you’re not where you want to be, then ask where your thinking is off. What do you need to believe instead?

If a client isn’t getting the results they want, this is because they aren’t doing what they need to do. As a coach, you cannot do the work for them. You can guide them, but they have to be open and willing to do whatever it takes to get the results they want. This also applies when they ARE getting results. You are not responsible for this either! They have done the work, and you have guided them. Let them be 100% responsible both ways.

Now of course if you’re providing a service like a brain surgeon, the above may not quite apply. If someone did have surgery though, part of their rehabilitation may be up to them :)

2. Also with accepting responsibility, is it’s close cousin, don’t take things personally. Recognize that each person is operating from their own belief system and paradigm (how they are seeing the world). You can’t possibly know what is going on with someone and how they’re making decisions at any given time. Especially if you don’t have the opportunity to speak with them directly. The person I mentioned could be having money or relationship issues with their spouse and is acting out based on fear. Who knows? Recognize that you only have control over how you respond. You get to decide whether or not you will let someone’s comments bother you or not.

I can tell you that if this had happened a few years ago, I would have stewed about the “unfairness” of it for days, probably even weeks. Instead I shrugged it off within 10 minutes. I still dealt with it, but I was unattached emotionally. This enabled me to think more clearly about my course of action and therefore response.

3. Look at why this is coming-up for you.
What is the lesson? The lesson might just be to practice responding versus reacting. If a similar type of issue is repeating itself, there is likely a bigger lesson to learn. What is it? What do you need to let go of?

4. Letting go. Even if this person is 99% wrong in your mind, is it worth pursuing? Know that it is likely causing a huge distraction from what you really need to be focusing on to grow your business. Is this where you really want to focus your time and energy? Getting stuck in what is “fair” and “the principle” of it can eat you up inside. Now it might be worth it. You get to decide. If not, write it off as just being part of business and do what you need to do to move on.

5. Relax and notice the peace you feel within when you approach disgruntled people in your business (and in general) in this manner. Letting things roll off your back is a much calmer (and a less dramatic) place to be.


Written by Chris Atley, Success Coach for entrepreneurs. Join Chris to discover your true worth to increase your personal wealth. Create your ideal business by grabbing my Live Limitless Guide for free at: http://chrisatley.com.

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