In business, it’s probably inevitable. At some point, you’re going to do something that pisses someone off. That’s just a fact of life. I’ve found that like me, most of the hardworking and decent business folks I know take it personally when someone is not pleased with our work. When you really care about what you’re doing and what you’re offering the public, it can’t help but hurt when someone isn’t pleased. I could offer the standard protocol for trying to understand the customer’s point of view, taking a look in the mirror and learning from our mistakes; but for today: forgetaboutit! I do talk about all that stuff in my book, but you know what? Sometimes it IS the customer who’s the JERK! Before I risk setting customer service back 50 years, I’ll also add that the customer doesn’t always need to know he’s a jerk! It’s tough, but sometimes this information is better kept between you and me! If you’re the typical entrepreneur, you’ve risked your life savings, your home, your home life, and maybe even your health to get your business started. You’ve invested time, money, blood, sweat and tears. You know how hard you work; you know how much you care… …the trick is not to expect everyone else to know, or care. Of course, we’re all worried about the dreaded “bad word of mouth.” Attend any business seminar and someone is likely to say that bad news travels faster than good news, one bad review cancels ten good reviews, a satisfied customer might not tell anyone, an angry customer tells everyone…something to that effect. The fact is that when someone is a genuine pain in the a**, they’re probably a pain in the a** everywhere! They may talk, but then, who is going to listen? When you bend too far for the jerk, will your other customers respect you? If you make too many concessions to the jerk, won’t everyone expect the same consideration? The jerk might talk! Sometimes you’ve got to trust that other people will see that you did your best to treat the jerk fairly. You’ve got to have faith in the credibility you’ve established with other, satisfied customers. It would be nice to say that when you deliver a quality product or service, everyone is going to be happy all the time. It just doesn’t happen. It’s always worth a look in the mirror and there is always a lesson to be learned from every situation, good or bad. But, when you are sure you’re doing the best you can and someone just isn’t happy, so be it. The customer is always free to do business elsewhere, and so are you! I’m going to assume you’re an honest business person. I’ll also assume that you’re doing everything you can to operate your business honestly, fairly and with the customer’s best interests at heart. The next time you’re dealing with a genuine jerk, just tell him… …Thanks very much…then forgetaboutit!