Some customers — even electric vehicle (EV) owners — can be unreasonable. They may expect you to be an EV expert on day one. Other customers are a pleasure to deal with, while many are somewhere in between.
New EV owners, especially those who have bought used EVs, may experience range anxiety, have no owner’s manual, may complain of real or imagined problems, might need to replace their tires more frequently than before and have other concerns. They can be a handful at the front counter. (Along with technician training, my company, Automotive Career Development Center, also offers management training as it pertains to moving into the plug-in, EV world. I am coaching more shop owners about the mentality of EV drivers than ever before.)
How do you deal with difficult customers?
My drive to work, in an electric car or motorcycle, allows me 20 minutes to be by myself. (As a fellow business owner, you can probably relate to this.)
I think about my day as it’s getting started and when heading home, I think about the day that I had. Most days they do not match up. Some can be challenging. But keeping a positive attitude about my customers is what I owe them — and my staff.
My wife, Deb, and I enjoyed going to the United Congregational Church of Worcester. Years ago, Rev. Mark Seifried helped us get through a difficult time with our two sons. We adopted two boys who were living in foster homes and wanted a forever family. It was not easy for any of us. We learned lots of life lessons in that undertaking. Mark sent this to me as I needed some wisdom:
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
Most people believe this was engraved on the wall of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta, India. No one is sure, but if it moves you to consider how we go about our day at work, then it was worth reading.
Can we apply this creed to operating a tire and service center? I rewrote this with your shop in mind. I hope you can use this today and whenever you need it later on.
Customers are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway, but make sure they pay the whole bill, including the time you held their hands and answered all their questions.
If you are kind to your employees, some employees may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway, as they are a big part of how successful you have become.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. Enough said!
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway, but keep bank accounts, tools, pass codes and such locked up. When needed, a lawyer can come in handy.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway. Buy insurance so you can rebuild and keep a fire extinguisher nearby and watch what you say to those you do not know.
If you find serenity and happiness at work, you are most likely drinking too much, and others may be jealous. Be happy and sober anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway, and then write a company newsletter so others can remember your good deeds.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough for some, so offer a warranty. And give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway. Your customers most likely will not come to your funeral, so spend your time and energy with those that will.
Keep these words handy for a while, until it sinks in, then give this to someone else. When Rev. Mark Seifried knew I could use some words of wisdom, he sent them to me. They helped explain a lot, so now I’ve shared them — plus a few of my own — with you. I wish you much success and peace in your world.