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Dealing with Tricky Customers

I would like to say that running a business is easy and fun all the time, but there are times when I have to deal with people I call “tricky customers.”

Overwhelmingly, I have emails and calls from positive, helpful people, but every once in awhile I get a message that knocks the wind out of my sails.

Here are some of the things I do when I have to deal with these negative customers:

I try to always respond with kindness. For all I know, that person has had a terrible day. And a problem on my website, or with one of the authors selling books on my website, is just the straw that broke the camel’s back to them. If I answer gently and fix the problem as fast as I can, I find that the tricky customer soon calms down.

If I have to research something for a tricky customer, I let them know how long it will take me to help them, what I am doing to help them, and when I have finished what I’m doing. This way, they aren’t left hanging wondering if I’ve even gotten around to reading their email.

For the worst-case scenario, make sure you have a good lawyer. I have never had to use my lawyer, but I update her quarterly with what I’m doing. This way, if I need her, she has current information about my company and customers.

Remember that the worst case almost never happens. And even the angriest customer usually calms down, and you don’t have to deal with them forever.

Remind yourself in the midst of a crisis of dealing with a tricky customer that whatever the problem is, it will pass. And you will likely have a satisfied customer in the end.

Got questions about being a new entrepreneur or selling a self-published book? Please let me know here or at