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Disgruntled customer

(5 Posts)
Disappointednomore Sat 10-Jun-17 10:20:00

One of the customers with whom I have just started dealing has a very combative stance. They've had a couple of issues and my company has not been without blame but I've been honest about that and want to work with them to improve things and operate as good partners iyswim.
He's relatively junior and not used to managing suppliers and I think he is taking his cue from his manager who also has a combative style. I need to reply to his email in such a way that I can try to reset the relationship on to a more positive track and have been mulling the best approach all morning. Any hints or suggestions from those of you who have dealt with a similar situation would be most welcome.

Ellisandra Sat 10-Jun-17 10:38:46

Have you met with him, orcdo you as a supplier have a procedure for meeting customers?

It is very easy to be an arsehole on an email to a person you've never met, so meeting him might help. At the very least - phone him. Pick out a bit of good news for him, or if you have none, come up with a good idea to improve things that you want his opinion on - then call him. Personal connection really helps.

Good luck! My other advice is that some people are just arseholes, so the best tip is to remember that it's you not him and to leave it at the office when you clock off!

AnnieOH1 Sat 10-Jun-17 10:39:46

Obviously without knowing the context its difficult to give precise ideas. However I would go back to him and;

1. Acknowledge there has been an issue.
2. Ask what he wants to work things out.
3. Tell him you will do all you can to facilitate getting what he wants.

Final tip, if you know you can answer him by noon tell him you'll be in touch by the end of the day. When you call him at noon tell him you really worked sooo hard for him to get the resolution.


Disappointednomore Sat 10-Jun-17 11:04:58

Ellisandra and Annie - thanks for your replies. I do think suggesting a meeting may be a good way forward. Annie - yes I am also considering the "worked so hard for you" tactic and am planning to respond today so that he can see I am taking time out at the weekend to do so.

Nymerialuna Sat 10-Jun-17 13:43:32

Being in this position most days at work I would follow the format below

Send a quick email acknowledging his email and tell him you will look into the points and get back to him by XXX (give an additional half day to what you expect and make suer you DO get back to him by that time, even if it's just to exetnd the deadline)

Thank him for brining his greiviances to your attention
Acknowledge the problems and blame where appropriate with steps on how to move forward. Apologise for any short comings from your company.
Make if clear where blame is unfairly placed and suggest how you can move forward together
Arange a firm timescale to ring him and review the sitation and suggest regular reviews (frequnency determined on your type of business) for the foreseeable future to nip any issues in the bud and make sure progress is being made

We have managed to turn many customer around this way. I takes time and effort but it happens in the end. We have had some right nasties in the past and the majority of them we now have a really good rapport with and can have a laugh and joke with now.

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