Being a small business owner can have its share of harrowing days.
First, you have to worry about making enough money on a regular basis to stay in business. Second, if the business is too much for you to handle on your own, you’re all but guaranteed to need employees. With employees come salaries and even healthcare depending on your company’s size. Last, there is the need of keeping your customers as happy as possible. Remember, without happy customers, there’s a good chance you do not even have a business.
So, if running a small business sounds a tad stressful, you’re right.
That said what action do you take when some customers are not always playing by the rules? Of most concern is when they try and cheat you out of your money.
Knowing the Signs of Bad Customer Behavior
To do your best to keep the upper-hand on your customer transactions, look for any of the following red flags:
- Shoplifting – Even when a customer steals a small item from you, the impact can be there for some time to come. Over time, too much stolen merchandise ends up costing you and customers playing by the rules. If shoplifting has been an issue up to now, put safeguards in place to lessen the threat. From video cameras to electronic surveillance at your doors be sure to guard against the threat.
- Chargebacks – With one’s pedigree, do they get the negative impact chargebacks can have. To avoid having chargebacks ruin your business, be cognizant of what they are and the fallout. Even a handful of chargebacks can send you down a path of no return over time. The more chargebacks you have, the more lost money. You could even lose your merchant charging privileges if things get too bad.
- Badmouthing – While each customer can review your business, you don’t want 24/7 negative press. How best to handle customers who tell others about negative experiences with you? First, never talk bad about a customer. Doing so can open up a can of worms that you may not be able to put back. It is also important that you do your best to understand why customers may be unhappy with you in the first place. By having an open a line of dialogue, you improve maintaining relationships.
Never Overlook the Importance of Quality Customer Service
Even though it may be redundant, you can never emphasize enough good customer service.
Sure, some customers are going to have a way to get under your skin, but fight through it. At the end of the day, you need to keep as many customers as possible. You do this all the while you are adding to your customer registers.
Last, don’t hesitate to get feedback from each customer.
Among the questions to ask them either in-person or via an online survey:
- Were you happy with the service you received?
- If not, what could we have done better?
- How do we compare to competitors?
By having the pulse of each customer in the palm of your hands, you can become an even better small business owner.
So, if you want to avoid having some customers put you out of work, get working on a better business plan today.