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Nicci’s Call: Customer Care or Customer Scare?

By Nicola Bonfanti – Talent Dynamics for Sales

The client experience is paramount in their decision to buy from us so we are aware that we have to go beyond customer satisfaction and deliver great service.

Trader profiles are great at considering and executing that.  If you have a customer facing business you will want a Trader profile to welcome clients, resolve any problems, follow up with their requests and requirements and be patient on the end of a phone to irate customers.

But what about those clients that are genuinely a pain?! You know the ones you dread seeing their number come up on your phone, you swerve to avoid bumping into them at conferences, they seem to take up 80% of your time and patience for less than 10% of your revenue.

Just for a bit of fun leading up to Halloween we will look at particularly nightmarish customers, why we find them so and some tips on how to deal with them or who should deal with them.

There are a few examples here and we’ll be posting them daily in the lead up to Halloween on the Talent Dynamics for Sales Facebook page,  see if you can identify the dark side of the profiles?!

The Vampire

With the aim of bleeding you dry, the Vampire is never happy until he thinks he has got the best deal possible.  He will test your sales and negotiating skills pushing for more and more concessions and wanting assurance that he is getting a better deal than anyone else.

He will feel it is a privilege you doing business with him and therefore he is worth special attention and a celebrity status of customer care. He may also come up with his own ideas of what your best service should look like and not be shy of telling you.

The Vampire wants to feel significant and important.

Use this experience to improve your customer care and if possible make it a standard you can give everyone (just don’t let the Vampire know that!). The Vampire wants to feel that he has sucked out all possible concessions, discounts, bonuses and benefits.

Make sure you get something back for every concession (longer subscription terms, less time spent face to face) but that you give maximum value to the Vampire which doesn’t bite into your profits (bonuses of already created products, invitations to events).

The Vampire will also appreciate personalised, monogrammed gifts and become a loyal customer if you can keep him sweet with morsels like that from time to time.

The Witch

The Witch seems like she is out to get you!  She has unrealistic demands and wants more and more information. At each visit her demands increase and when you think you have supplied her with everything she asks, she just screams for more information, statistics, testimonials. When you meet her she wants to control the meeting and will turn up late and change the appointment at the last minute.

The Witch wants security that she is not taking a risk by buying from you so tests your loyalty at every stage.

As a result she needs a lot of information in order to make her decision, more so than other clients.  She will respect your strength if you stand up to her and not surrender to her every demand, so manage her expectations and explain why delivery at 4am will cost a premium.

Share the cost implications of her demands with her and she will be astute enough not to waste money needlessly. At the same time give her the information she craves and more if at all possible (at the end of the day she just needs security). Give her realistic and feasible guarantees that takes the insecurity and risk away.

By providing her with her demands you will build up a bank of proof, statistics and data that you can use with other customers and by taming her you will have a loyal ambassador for your company. It’s worth the effort.

Can you guess the dark side of these profiles?  Happy Halloween with your customers and prospects!

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