Lately it seems like a lot of people are experiencing difficutly dealing with people and having a short fuse. Customers and clients are expecting the sun, moon and stars, but want it all at a lowball price. This seems to hold true across the board in a number of different industries, not just where horses are concerned. Ask them and they will tell you just how much they know about each and every, sometimes any subject.
As a consumer, I expect to pay a fair price for things, but in return- I expect fair customer service as well. I expect things to hold up or last for a reasonable amount of time and figure the price of some things in relation to the quality of materials and manufacturing that went into them. Is that asking too much?
On the end of the manufacturer, I expect them to look for quality materials and hardware, well skilled craftsmen to assemble things and I don't mind paying a little more for a well made- anything... be it a washing machine, truck or a toaster!
If it should break or stop working under reasonable use and conditions, within a short period of time after its acquisition, I also expect to be treated fairly when the item is either returned for replacement or repairs. I don't "go off" on the customer service rep, because in all actuality- they didn't design or make the product that broke of failed, they just answer the phone.
I have worked in several customer service positions and having been on both sides of the fence so to speak, you get a lot further if you don't scream at anyone. State your case and be realistic. If things are not worked out to your satisfaction, ask for a supervisor and get the names of the people you speak to. Ask for the phone number or a direct line where they can be reached if any further issues are to follow.
Having worked in manufacturing positions, don't try to pull a fast one and ask for replacements or repairs on somethign you intentionally or even accidently broke because you didn't use it correctly, had it adjusted wrong or set it where it got in the way or didn't belong.
There have been times in the horse industry, my husband or I have told people to get lost, go pound sand or forget it. You can tell they are 'full of it' and expect you to drop everything, cater only to them and give them a special deal, meaning reduced rates on everything. Customers like that are bad for business. They end up costing you money in dealing with them and possibly running off potential clients in the long run. When you kick them to the curb it can be quite liberating!
So how do others deal with people like this? I have found a few ways of doing it, but it's always good to share thoughts on ways of handling difficult customers/clients. Sometimes the best way to deal with them is to be quiet. Others require honesty, tact and common sense. Occasionally there is humor to be found in dealing with them. What has worked for you?