Customers can exist without your business, but
your business cannot exist without customers.
Expectations of customers have
along with the “you owe me something for nothing
attitude” of society. Customers and clients can be
more difficult to please than ever before due to the
evolution of instant gratification and attitudes, which
are summed up by the thought, “all problems in my
life are the fault of someone other than me.”
Dealing with customer problems in the horse
business is no easy chore. In addition to
all of the other problems common with any business,
the occasional unpredictability of the customers’
relationship with horses compounds the chance for
problems. You may have noticed that the
behavior of horses is more predictable than the
behavior of some clients.
Customer problems will be resolved. Your choice as
the owner of a horse business is to resolve them
or wait for them to be fixed later. Delay is
default method for fixing your customer problems and
the most costly financially and emotionally. If you
have ever postponed solving a customer problem
(who hasn’t?) you know what I mean about the
emotional drain of unsolved problems. It’s
Here are some tips in dealing with angry customers.
- Hear the customer story and
anger. Don’t defend, explain, pass fault or cause,
just hear the story and let the customer do some
venting and get the feeling out of the system. Some
people need to stomp their feet a little to feel
- By diffusing the anger you’ll be in a
position to negotiate a solution successfully. Have
you ever won an argument with an angry person? It
can’t be done.
- Talk slower and softer than the
works by helping to counteract adrenalin
- Ask what it will take to solve the problem
repeat this back to the customer in your own words
to make the understanding clear.
- Begin the process of solving the
Why do you want to put all of this effort into
customer problems? Because problems with
customers demand energy, attention and disrupt the
normal flow of business. And that lowers profit
What if you can’t make the customer happy?
- Charge more for personal demands above
normal level of service when it absolutely positively
has to be done right now, Think about overnight
letter delivery. Sure we can do it and you will pay
- Send a “Dear John” letter. Not
simply stating we cannot provide the services you
need and expect and suggest that you find someone
who is able to deliver that level of service since we
have done all that we can. Sometimes, customers
need to be fired.
Dealing with customer complaints and problem
customers is not a fun part of being in the horse
business. The quickest way to get back to doing the
fun stuff is taking care of the problems as they occur.