Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Customers Who Are Bullies
"People treat us this way (with disrespect) because they don't respect us." +Jeff Mowatt
Do you ever find in business that the people who pay the least amount of money for your services or who wine and dine you until they learn the contract isn't free, these are the ones who cause you the most grief?
Most of the time, before you sign someone up, you have an inner sense that this might be a difficult customer. But you want their business anyway because they may be high profile or they're someone with an interesting job description. Other times, the customer catches you off guard.
Sometimes, not always, that sixth sense comes true. Maybe the reason you feel it beforehand comes down to seven letters: r-e-s-p-e-c-t. You don't necessarily feel that it goes both ways.
You may be just starting out and you need the business. Unfortunately, that is when you talk yourself into such a contract, even if you know it's going to be a dud. They nickle and dime you and have a freak-out on every little thing that doesn't go exactly to plan. If you're not available at the customer's beck and call, they berate you until they bring you to tears, all because you weren't there for some answer to an impromptu question that could have waited until morning.
Mowatt says everything comes down to this: equal status. Both you and your customer are equals. If it doesn't feel that way, then you may want to reconsider continuing the relationship.
The sad thing is that you have no control over your customer's behavior. They can easily post a horrific review about you on Yelp or worse.
Certainly if your client is a bully, nothing you can do or say will alter his or her behavior. You can only distance yourself and go about your day. If they decide to use the Internet as a weapon, then document everything, investigate as to which laws they might be breaking, and file a police report, then go about your business as if they don't exist.