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Selling online has a serious downside- dealing with problem customers who don’t seem to be happy no matter what you do. That’s why we wrote this article- to help you PREVENT problem customers BEFORE they happen! Just a few simple changes and a lot of those problem customers will automatically steer clear of your shop, plus you’ll be better prepared for the ones that don’t!

Be sure to watch the video above for the full details- and don’t forget to snag the FREE checklist download below!

We’ve been selling on e-commerce for over a decade now, and have dealt with countless orders-gone-wrong and nightmare customers.

Over the years, we’ve learned some simple things you can do that will REALLY help cut down these problem customers before they even click add-to-cart!  

Tip #1: Have a CLEAR refund/return/exchange policy

The first (and most important) thing you can do to prevent your store from getting difficult customers is to create a clear refund/return/exchange policy. 

If you don’t have one already, create one immediately.

If you already have one, make sure that it covers all this important stuff below:

  • Who pays for shipping for returns/exchanges
  • The time period for accepting returns/exchanges
  • Policy exceptions (like personalized or custom products)
  • Defective orders, broken items, late deliveries, etc
  • If you requre proof the problem (like photos provided by the customer)
  • How customers can request a return/exchange (through a custom email, phone, etc)

Make sure this information is listed at the bottom of every product, AND on it’s own policy page. It is also helpful to BOLD the very important information, to make it easier for the customer to see.

Having these policies in place is CRUCIAL for any e-commerce store, even if you’re selling on a platform like Etsy or Amazon, because they will help you to prevent problem customers AND help you handle situations that do still manage to arise.

Grab our FREE E-Commerce Store Policy & Customer Service Cheat-Sheet!

This FREE checklist will help you make sure you’ve got everything in place to help you AVOID problem customers, and REDUCE issues with your orders, so you can enjoy your e-commerce store with LESS STRESS! Sign up here to get the PDF file sent to you via automatic email! Easy peasy!

Tip #2: Setting up an upcharges to prevent problem customers with frequent changes.

Sometimes you will get customers that want multiple things changed and/or customizations to their order. This usually applies to products with design aspects or various options (shirts, mugs, etc), but can sometimes happen with other things, too.

If you decide to accept customizations (personalizations, custom changes, etc), you want to make sure to add a standard upcharge (additional fee) for changes to an order.  

This will prevent problem customers who want the moon for a penny or are overly demanding. (You know, the customers who want you to change one tiny detail after another tiny detail, with no clear end in sight…)

Be clear and explain what this upcharge includes:  

  • How many colors (for color changes)
  • How many edits can be made to each product/design
  • Any additional time it will take to finish the customizations
  • The cost for the upcharge
  • Etc

Tip #3: Keep a mind set of abundance- there will always be other customers.

Even if your policies are amazing and you’ve created clear, easy to read product listings, you can STILL get customers that are difficult right from the beginning.

Often, you will just KNOW a customer is going to be a problem. Maybe the customer has messaged you 20 times before placing their order. Or maybe they’ve sent confusing or contradicting messages.

You will get a GUT FEELING that no matter what you do, the customer is probably going to complain once they get their order.

Often, we accept orders from these problem customers because we feel like we ‘need’ the sales, and we often regret it later.

It is OKAY to turn down orders from problem customers.  They will find someone else who is willing to take their money and frustration.

You can fire customers just as much as you can get fired!

Don’t be afraid to cancel an order if you need to! Just kindly explain that you can not promise to meet their expectations and they should find another vendor better able to suit their needs.  Then let the competitors handle the headache.

In general, these guidelines will help you to PREVENT problem customers before they happen. And for those customers who still seem to slip through, you can always refer back to your store policies to handle issues. 

We’re going to be publishing an article next week about how to handle problem customers when they DO get through- with some amazing customer service tips and tricks! So make sure to come back here next week! *hint hint*

If you have any tips of your own, please comment and share them below with our community. 🙂

Good luck, and happy selling!

Preventing Problem Customers Before They Happen by OWLLytics pinterest pin

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Got a question? Comment below! I’d love to help! 🙂

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