We’ve all experienced customers who need more than we’re able to give; customers with unreasonable requests or an excessive amount of questions. These customers are often called “high maintenance.” However, a customer’s need for extra attention isn’t always their fault.
Aside from those who seem to make a career out of being difficult, a business can inadvertently create a “high maintenance” customer by having a frustrating or incomplete purchase process. This includes omitting important information that people will naturally ask for. When a process isn’t hassle-free, it’s actually the business that’s high maintenance.
Customers who pursue extensive information are often perceived as needy, but that’s not an empowering way to view them. Even if it’s true, it doesn’t help your business.
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Rather than seeing customers as high maintenance and, therefore, the source of your frustration, one small change in perception can turn them into your biggest asset.
You shouldn’t have to deal with an unreasonable person, although, you can simultaneously bid them farewell and learn from them at the same time. By acknowledging and looking into their needs, you can gain insight into where your marketing efforts are falling short. Here’s how to make the shift:
1. Get curious about their point of view – they might have a point
When you see a customer as high maintenance, you’ll view their needs as unreasonable. When you think their needs are unreasonable, you won’t be open to looking into the situation to find out if you can make improvements.
How many times have you been baffled by a customer’s inability to find a page on your website that’s linked from the main menu? How many times have customers asked you how-to questions that were covered in the guide that comes with the product?
Just because you put the information in an obvious spot doesn’t mean everyone will see it. A main menu item is obvious, but what if it doesn’t display on iPad? A getting started guide is great, but who reads manuals?
If you don’t keep up with current web trends and marketing strategies, listening to the customers who can’t find your links or don’t read your guide will tell you everything you need to know about what’s not working. If you brush them off as high maintenance, you’re doing all customers a disservice.
2. Address common questions on your website
You can’t expect your customers to read every piece of information you post, but you do need to address common questions in your content. Never assume your customers know everything already.
Addressing common questions through your content can prevent an overflow of support requests that inundate your staff. Healthy Hemp Oil sets a great example of how to walk the customer through their pre-purchase questions with their CBD oil guide. It’s a lengthy read, but for anyone doing research, it’s an essential read that addresses many pre-purchase questions people new to CBD oil have.
To follow their lead and craft content that provides adequate information, find out what your support staff get asked on a daily basis. Then, integrate that information into your web copy and other marketing materials.
Not everyone will visit a frequently asked questions page to look for answers. Find a way to include answers to questions within the body of your main content. Sometimes people don’t know what questions to ask, but reading the answers will satisfy them.
3. Be willing to change
The final component for transforming high maintenance customers into your biggest asset is being willing to change. When you’ve discovered the source of their frustration (provided it has merit), it’s up to you to change it.
There will always be customers who have unreasonable demands, unprovoked by anything outside of themselves. However, if you want to eliminate high maintenance customers forever, shift your mindset from “having to deal with” customers to finding solutions and ways to be in service.
The key is to use every opportunity to improve an aspect of your business, rather than focus on who’s right or wrong.