Do you argue with your customers?

Seems like a silly question to some. But in my little world, it seems common. Not only that, but some in this business talk smack about their customers.

  • They rail against refunds (even though they offer a guarantee).
  • They piss and moan when somebody says their product didn't do what they said it would do.
  • They shame their customers by talking about them on social media sites and industry forums.

See that image up there? Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it. It doesn't really even matter if you're right. You will fail in business if you argue (too much). Sure, once in a while, let it all hang out. In private. Not in a public forum.

To some, you will be a hero. To others, you will appear as a giant dick.

Giant dicks are only good in porn.

A wise man once said,

The customer may not always be right, but he's never wrong. — Me

Let that sink in. There is no point in proving to your customer that he's wrong. What does it get you? You won't save the sale. You won't gain any goodwill. You will look like a dildo to most.

What little you gain will be offset–and then (a lot) some–by the negative perception you send to the world. You create negative karma, you look like a petty little buffoon, and you will turn off a lot of current and potential customers.

No bueno.

Turn a Negative into an Opportunity

Use negative outcomes with customers as a learning device. It's an opportunity.

Maybe your product does suck. Maybe your sales letter was overly optimistic. Maybe you could improve one or the other.

Look, I'm not telling you to always give into the customer. I'm not saying that refund requests aren't disheartening. They are. But look inward when this happens.

  • Maybe there is an opportunity to correct something.
  • Set something straight.
  • Be more clear in what your product or service does.
  • Do a better job teaching your customers how to use your product.
  • Do a better job getting the right customers to buy your product or service.


Of course, there are “haters” everywhere. Sometimes, you just can't please somebody, no matter what.

So be it. Let them go. Tell them–sincerely–to have a nice day. Ask how you could earn their business in the future. Offer them a free upgrade when you improve your product.

NOW is the time to find out why they aren't happy, what you could do differently, and how you could re-build your relationship.

This is a perfect opportunity to improve your product. You won't get good intel like this in 500 focus groups. I promise you that.



customer service

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  • You’re so right, Bill. I see a lot of people railing against anyone who refunds. I understand that there are some scammers who refund everything to get free products, but they’d have to refund at least twice in a row before you can identify them as a “serial refunder”. You can only make yourself look petty and cheap by blacklisting people for refunding instead of trying to engage and find out what they thought was wrong with your product.

    • Yep, Rob. It’s always a good idea to find out why somebody didn’t like your product. Undoubtedly, there are others who share the perception. May as well figure it out now.

  • Great post, Bill.

    We live in a time where customer service sucks most of the time. The rudeness and disdain with which customers are treated are incredible. And it always backfire – even if at almost undetectable levels.

    This matters even more so online. Where reputations can be ruined and customers lost by a simple copy-and-paste or by clicking the social share button.

    You don’t have to agree with the customer in order to treat them respectfully. But even there you find a self-imposed limit: your copy.

    If you guarantee a no questions asked refund policy, you better adhere to it. Listen, some customers will take you for a ride – it’s like an addiction – but they did not provide the guarantee: you did,

    Treat customers well, and you never know how many people they may refer to you without you ever knowing. And even if not, your name will be clean.

    And that’s the most precious commodity in the world.

    • 100% agree with you, Piet. Keeping a clean name is important if you are serious about your business. I’d suggest that you’re not really serious if you think it doesn’t matter. I often hear people say, “I’m polarizing,” or “I’m segmenting my audience.”

      No, you’re an asshole.

  • Great reply, Bill.

    Yes, “big words” are used to excuse bad behavior.

    “I’m polarizing” should not include rudeness; rather it should reflect a different or specific view. If I say we should all carry guns, I’m not name-calling, and I will get a very strong response from both sides, which gets the conversation going, and group sections together.

    “I’m segmenting my audience” should be done by non-direct methods, like squeeze page signups, front-end buyers, elite buyers, addicts, and coaching students. Not by cussing certain ones.

    Two great examples, by the way.

  • I couldn’t agree more Bill!

    And I love your photo and it’s priceless message! A lot of newbie business owners, on or
    offline definitely need to heed your sound advice!

    And once they put a pencil to it and do the actual math, they’ll easily conclude
    it’s a whole cheaper to stand by your guarantee that to try and wiggle out of it!

    You almost never hear this type of subject covered thoroughly, with regards to
    proven marketing strategies!

  • Bill,

    I see this very often in a restaurant. I’m hungry and waiting anxiously for my food. And then it arrives, but something is wrong. Maybe I had ordered something else. Maybe the food is burnt. Maybe they left out an ingredient. Whatever is wrong, the waiter or waitress offers to take the food back so I am still hungry and have to wait even longer. In that instance, I love to receive a gift – take the beverage off the check, offer a dessert even if I don’t want dessert. Do something to make up for my being dissatisfied. And do this before I ask for it. Some places will oblige after I ask, but that is not the same as offering immediately to please me as a customer. And the worst is when their food tastes bad and they argue with me, telling me that nobody else has complained.


    Dr. Erica

    • UGH. It’s difficult to watch. I was IN retail management the first 6+ years of my adult life and I always wanted the “worst” customers because I found it invigorating to try to turn them from unsatisfied to ecstatic. Now, when I watch it done wrong, I cringe.

      Thanks for writing in!

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