Customer Not Happy With Your Work? Here Is How To Deal With It.

Authors: Bryce Whitty

In this article, I would like to show you how to deal with customers that are not happy with your work. I would like to start by saying that I am not a lawyer and the contents of this article is not legal advice. There is no substitute for the knowledge of a local lawyer specialized in this area of law. Now we have that out of the way, lets get into dealing with these customers.

If you have been in this business for a while, you have most likely encountered a client that is not happy about your work because they believe you didn’t fix the problem properly. It might be that their computer still locks up or perhaps the virus you were supposed to have removed came back. They are fairly common complaints in this industry and here are some ways to deal with them.

Hear Them Out
Whether they are right or wrong, you need to hear them out and let them say what they need to say. The fact that someone is listening to them usually calms them down.
However, if they are being abusive (as in, more than just an angry customer) you can say something like “I hear you and would love help you out by taking a look at the system, but I cannot work with you until you settle down. Please give me call back when you have settled down”. If they settle down after you say that then let them continue, otherwise hang up the phone.

For all of the non abusive customers, always emphasize with their problem by saying something like “Ahh, thats no good. Bring it into the workshop and we’ll take a look at it”. Once the computer is on your workbench you can then determine what the problem and whether it was your fault.

Determine The Problem and Whether You Are At Fault
Its quite possible that you simply didn’t remove the virus completely or you didn’t diagnose the problem correctly. If that is the case you simply need to man up and fix it, then apologize to the customer for the inconvenience. Maybe even offer them 10% off their next repair or some other olive branch to keep the peace.

It is possible that you are completely in the right but you didnt manage your clients expectations correctly. For example, while you were working on the computer originally, you said to your client that “you will install an antivirus product so they dont get any viruses” as a passing comment.
You and I both know that an antivirus product wont completely protect a computer and that it only helps prevent infections rather than completely prevents them. However, when you said that you “will install an antivirus product so they dont get any viruses”, the client heard something totally different. The client heard “once I pay for this, I will never get a virus again”.

This is an example of not managing their expectations correctly and there isn’t a whole lot you can do to fix it after you have done it other than correcting them and remembering not to do it next time.

Did They Do It To Themselves?
A common issue in the Computer Repair business is when a technician removes a virus correctly but the client managed to reinfect themselves a short time after. This comes down to user education and you will need to tell them about the dangers of opening email attachments, clicking on questionable links etc..
You can also make use of applications like IEHistoryView and MozillaHistoryView to prove they were going to potentially dangerous websites. In most cases, once a client realizes that “they have been bad” they usually understand that the reinfection was their own fault and they will need to treat it as a separate incident.

Is It A Scam?
There is a scam out there similar to this that some Computer Technicians have been stung by. The scam is when the scammer drops off a computer to a technician and makes a point of saying that the computer has certain specifications when it really doesn’t. For example, they might say something like “I had the RAM upgraded to 4GB last month” as a passing comment. However, it was delivered with only 1GB of RAM installed. When the scammer returns to pick up the computer, they accuse you of stealing the 3GB of “missing” RAM and make threats of suing you or ruining your reputation.
In many cases, the Computer business will just give them the 3GB of RAM to make them go away.

Make Them Go Away
Having just said that, sometimes it is worth doing something to make the client go away. I have never had this scam attempted against me but there comes a time when you have the choice of being right and potentially getting sued (even though they will lose) and ruining your reputation, or just giving them their money back and telling them not to return. This doesn’t mean that you should let people walk all over you, you should still stand up for yourself but you need to keep in mind that sometimes fighting it is just not worth it.
Why get pulled into small claims court for a day over a $50-100 argument when you could use that day to fix 10 other happy customers computers and earn $1000? Sometimes it is worth just chalking it up to experience and moving on.

Get Paperwork Signed
Having signed paperwork in place is invaluable in these sort of situations and this is the whole point of work orders. When you complete a job, get the client to sign the work order which says they are happy with the work that has been done and they understand your terms and conditions. In one of the Work Orders in the Computer Business Kit, there are some terms and conditions that says that your business only warrants the service that was performed for a period of one month and that does not include any software issues created by the end user such as virus/spyware infections, tampering with the settings etc..

If It Has The Potential To Get Ugly, Talk To A Lawyer
If an issue has the potential to get ugly, talk to a lawyer. Yes, they are expensive but you are not only paying for legal advice, you are also buying peace of mind. You can stress about an issue for days fearing the possibility of getting sued, or you can spend $200 for an hour of a Lawyers time who will tell you that they dont have a leg to stand on and you can sleep well at night.

© Technibble – A Resource for Computer Technicians to start or improve their computer business
To get started with your own computer business, check out our Computer Business Kit. Customer Not Happy With Your Work? Here Is How To Deal With It.

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