View Full Version : Reformed SCs
07-21-2006, 05:41 PM
Just wondering if any of you out there had any really notorious SCs that miraculously reformed and became good customers?
Back when I sold computers, I had this guy who would argue/haggle over everything. Every time he game in, I cringed because I knew he was looking for a fight. He came in at least once or twice a month. The worst time was when he came in to buy a brand new laptop. He chose the most expensive one, with only a little bit of haggling, and when it came time to pay, he wrote a check. We used telecheck, and it came back declined. Like most customers, he assumed that telecheck thought he didn't have enough money. I tried to explain to him it could have come back declined for a variety of reasons. He would have none of it and left in a huff. He comes back two hours later with a bank receipt, showing me the balance of his account. Sure enough, lots of money in there. He then demanded I take his check. I told him that it wasn't that I didn't believe him, it was that what telecheck says goes; company policy. He screamed and yelled and threw a tantrum and left.
I didn't see him again for two months, unusual for him. When he did come back, and each for subsequent visit until I left that job, he was the nicest customer ever. He was very polite, curteous, no longer haggled, and even hung around just to chat. He even brought us all coffee and bagels one time. I really couldn't believe it. This guy made such a 180, it actually made me hope that not everyone was a lost cause.
Anyone else have this happen?
Im a reformed SC, I freely admit it.
before I worked in retail I did all of the classic SC things. Im ashamed of my previous behaviour and cant make up for it.
Thats why I think everyone shoud have to spend at least 6 months in some sort of retail job. Alot of the SC behaviour is born out of ignorance. They dont understand that you have NO authority to change company policy.
I have had a customer come back and apologise for how they treated me, and it totally redeemed them in my eyes. People are angry, sometimes that anger is misplaced. Were all human. we make mistakes.
07-21-2006, 07:30 PM
I'm actually pretty good at reforming SC's. Sure, there are some that there is no hope for but, in many SC's, there IS a good customer waiting to get out.
First thing you have to do is pretend that whatever horrible thing they did in the past didn't happen.
Smile and act happy to see them, even if you're cringing on the inside. Address them by their first name and provide excellent customer service.
Ask them questions like, "How's your kids?" etc.
Be firm but fair in your dealings with them.
Act like they are 'in the know'. Say things like, "Now, John, you know I can/can't do that." People like to feel like you expect them to be knowledgable.
There are a surprising amount of people that when you take this approach make the turn around. Then there are some weird ones that will be SC's to everyone BUT you when you do this. They're the one's who'll ask for you by name when they have a problem- but oddly, they may not take no as an answer from your co-workers but they will from you afterwords.
If nothing else comes of it- you have the great satisfaction of knowing YOU are the better person for it.
07-21-2006, 11:59 PM
When I did tech support for a dialup ISP we had some massive SCs, of course.
One of them in particular was actively feared by one of my co-workers. He would bribe me with free food to try and get me to call this guy back.
He was always unpleasant, always had really strange problems, had a Mac...which isn't exactly a problem except that our Mac customers had to have a bit more patience with us since we were all PC people and only had screenshots and Google to help us. This guy of course had no patience whatsoever. None of us had much luck with him.
So one day I had to call him...I had my migraine meds handy and a plan to stop by a bar or two after work. Only had an hour left in the day.
Amazingly this time he started out in a slightly better mood, and had a problem that I knew exactly how to fix. (It was a pretty easy one too if I recall correctly.) Walked him right through it, he was happy as a clam. Found out the next day he had sent in a compliment letter...I nearly died of shock on the spot. It was in all caps and every other word was misspelled, but I was still very happy to see it.
I left soon after that so I don't know if the change was permanent or not, but we can hope.
07-22-2006, 12:44 AM
I haven't had any repeated SCs but I have had a few come back and apologize, even a few minutes later, like one lady when I called two other stores to try to find what she wanted; neither of the two had them, but she'd started out with a major attitude but after watching me try to call those stores and handle incoming calls and get people into the fitting rooms she apparently had to concede that I had a real job. Or something like that.
One lady got on my case once ("Kids make noise, you know!") for asking her ten-year-old-ish daughter not to screech in my ear since I couldn't hear anybody on the phone if she yelled and after the mom came over by me and heard how loud her daughter sounded where I was sitting she apologized for snapping at me before.
An apology, frankly, makes my day. Most people are nice. But when an SC comes along and then realizes hey, I was a jerk, I'm sorry, that improves my mood dramatically.
07-22-2006, 12:48 AM
My customer wasn't so much sucky as she was a pain where you can't put plaster. Well, you can judge that for yourselves, but anyway. There was a lady who used to come in once every weekend, usually Saturdays, but some Sundays. Everyone knew her by name, X (changed for privacy), and feared her when she would come in, simply because that meant that 80% of everything she bought that day would come back to the store as returns three days later.
X would come to the store and buy at least $100 of merchandise, usually around $200, and then would come back Tuesday and return 80% of it. It actually got so bad that one of the managers (the one with the reputation for being nasty) told her that she was not allowed to return anything anymore, and threatened to ban her from the store if she kept it up. My favorite exchange between them went as follows:
X: "I simply won't be able to shop here anymore if I can't return anything!"
Manager: "You aren't shopping here, you are wasting my employee's time and costing the store money by tying up the clerks and having them find you merchandise only to return it a few days later."
It was so true. X ended up not coming back for several months, but when she did, not only was she more polite than she was before, SHE DIDN'T RETURN A THING. We never thought it was possible with her!
That's MY "Reformed SC" story. :)
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