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Sometimes People are Just Dicks A.K.A You Can’t Please Them All

Managing an International Brands social presence and brand it’s been very interesting to see the types of characters you deal with on occasions. I’ve had a few core trends that I’ve really found occur consistently:

1. Unsatisfied Customer.
2. People who are blindly brand loyal and will rag on other brands as a result.
3. Customers who receive a faulty product, receive exemplary customer service and support and continue to make an issue.

These three characters come in all sorts of forums and you can never guess who you’re dealing with until it all comes to a head.

So without further ado, let me give a few examples of what I’ve faced and how I’ve dealt with them. I’d be very interested to hear peoples thoughts on how I’ve dealt with them and alternative solutions to dealing with the situations.

1. The Unsatisfied Customer

I had a very interesting case for this. A customer had bought an air compressor. There was nothing wrong with the air compressor and he had owned the compressor for a period of time before he decided to contact us through Facebook. His issue was that the power cable wasn’t long enough to do exactly what he wanted it to do. Now stating this I took it out to one of our vehicles and displayed to the customer that it would be perfectly satisfactory for his needs (taking photos to display how we were using it on exactly the same vehicle as he had).
In response to this the customer had a rant about how I didn’t believe him when he said there was an issue and send a video displaying what he was trying to achieve. We recognised what he was trying to achieve and due to the limitation of the length of the power cable he wouldn’t be able to do it, but utilising the method I had displayed he would have had no issue using the compressor as our tens of thousands of other compressor owners have done.
I responded in part stating that there was nothing wrong with the compressor and that the cable length was standard and that this had never been an issue with our thousands of other customers for exactly the same product, we even offered to go above and beyond to purchase and mail out to him so extra cable for him to be able to modify the the cabling of his compressor to achieve what he wanted. This didn’t go down well with the customer and he started demanding that we either provide him one that comes from the factory with the length of cable he desired or he wanted his money back.
Given that he had owned the compressor for a period of time, used it and it was fit for purpose, there was no legitimate issue for us to address and in the end we were left with a customer who still couldn’t be satisfied despite all attempts less accepting a return of a perfectly good product that was used and we wouldn’t be able to see again.

2. People who are blindly brand loyal and will rag on other brands as a result

This is a crowd that we come across a lot in the 4WD industry. Many people have pre-conceived notions about the quality of a brands products based on where they are manufactured and who is the brand.
The internet is particularly rife with this and it is very hard to sway decisions otherwise, especially when people are ragging on a brand’s products that they have never had any personal experience with, instead suggesting the {insert premium brand here} products because they have had a good experience with them and cheaper products can’t be near the quality.
This further becomes an issue, when the belief is that brand B is copying brand A when instead they may both be importing the same rebranded product but because Brand A has the premium branding to it, Brand B gets ragged for copying brand A.
Personally I find that most of the time it’s best to ignore this, purely because there is no way to argue with someone who doesn’t know any better. Furthermore there are also often people who are purely making these statements to Troll brands such as that which I work for. Occasionally though you do need to respond, but when you do, you need to have all the supportive evidence to show as such. Even then though, those brand perceptions very rarely change.

3. Customers who receive a faulty product, receive exemplary customer service and support and continue to make an issue

This particular example is the reason I have written up the whole post in the first place. I have a really hard time understand people who fit into this category as a business is truly trying to provide the aftermarket support that is expected, but even then the customer goes and defames the brand.

In this case a customer had purchased a roof rack. One of the sealing bungs had clearly not been installed properly which has caused water to get inside the car, create a little rust and have rusty water leak onto his roof. An issue that we were happy to address. In the time it took for our Perth office to open he had already contacted us twice via email (clearly impatient). As soon as our Perth office opened the branch manager contacted the customer and offered to have him book in, in two weeks (next available time) and look at it and if needed replace it. The customer agreed to this, but then only hours later complained on Facebook how we weren’t helping him out. We responded to this saying our branch manager had contacted him first thing after they opened in Perth.
Again not a few hours later he responded saying that he hadn’t heard anything but again further complaining that he had to drive all the way to our store (the person he’d initially bought it off wasn’t helping out) and that he can only do weekends (when our store is closed). I told him to call our branch and again sort it out. In the end our branch manager decided that he’ll not only replace the bar, but he’ll drive out to provide him with the new one and take back the old one on a Saturday.
The next day he’s at it again this time posting up the issue he initially had on multiple forums and twisting the actions by us to date with the fact that we hadn’t yet come to the party.
We are now at the point where we are compiling all contact with him and will be listing out our correspondence with him via bullet point on these forum threads to ensure that the public understand what actions we’ve taken and how there are actually two sides to the story.

I’ll edit and update the post as we see the final outcome from this issue.

What similar situations have you come across and have you any opinions on how you would have dealt with these customers differently?

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