just don’t get it. You watch them and internally you roll your eyes, throw up
your hands and get exasperated. Unfortunately, some of those people are your
There is only one way to whip them into shape…okay, I’m kidding. Put down the whip. You have to educate them on how to be your ideal customer or client.
You train your customers how to behave by your systems and policies, or lack of. You are the one who lets them pay late, or not at all, (I’ve been there and hated myself for it)! You are the one that let’s them get away with very bad habits when you don’t call them on it or tell them how they should participate with you for the best overall satisfaction.
When you notice that they are getting on your last nerve, again, it’s time to have a little chat. They are not bad clients. You’ve just not fully done your job as a leader of self and your company. These irritating clients inspire new and improved ways of doing business. They call forth your best CEO self. You should thank them for pissing you off! ;-)
I’ll tell you how I educate my clients and customers, and maybe you can steal a few of my strategies.
When a potential client inquires about my services, I tell them exactly what to expect. When they pay me, they get an intake packet that explains everything again.
In their first appointment or class, I give an overview of how working together will look. I always ask for feedback, too.
When I see something not working, like a pattern of having to hunt down a client for their appointment, I address it. I tell them what I see and how they think we should correct it. If I still experience the problem, I may have one more chat, then I let them go. Usually things self correct after the first time. I also charge my full fee if they miss more than two appointments with no communication. Some business owners have less tolerance than me, but you have to do what feels good to you.
I redesign the alliance with a client if I notice it’s getting stale or they’re not holding up their end of the relationship. I tell them it’s their responsibility to ask for what they need, when they need it. I tell them that they can ask for the moon, it’s my responsibility to tell them if it’s outside the bounds of my ideal way of working.
When a customer buys a product from me, I tell them exactly what they will get with that product. I follow up with emails to make sure they are using what they buy. If they use it and like it, they’re a raving fan. If they buy it and don’t use it, nobody really wins. In my business, I always do a ton of educating that it’s their responsibility to make the product work for them.
I also tell people on my website, in person, in articles and interviews what my ideal client looks like. I know their qualities, what they do and what they’re passionate about. They know up front if they are a fit.
The most important thing I do is tell them about my philosophy. If they don’t buy into it upfront, they’ll be resistant and rebellious. They have to know about the way I work and my mannerisms. People make a lot of assumptions about how you’re supposed to be, I want to dispel those fast. I will bend over backwards for my clients and customers, but one thing they should never expect is a long email. And I let them know. It avoids many hurt feelings. I hate typing. It’s that simple.
Education. Enlightenment. Agreement to the terms. How you want your payment and when. Return policies. These things need to be talked about more than once. It’s simply good customer service. And most of all it helps YOU get what YOU desire most.