— September 7, 2017
In our noisy world of turbocharged feelings that often get smattered all over social media, it’s easy to get drenched with people’s high octane emotions and feel the need to do the same. For every mood, there’s a status update to explain it. While it’s great to express your feelings, I believe complaining about your customers is off limits.
Here are three ways you can potentially scare off new clients.
1. Spouting off on social media too much
I don’t know about you, but I run from business owners that always complain online. We all have the right to speak our minds. We all have bad days. It has its place, but sometimes it can quickly go overboard.
Let’s face it; everyday life can be full of annoyances. You get stuck in traffic. The grocery store checker gives you an attitude. Mondays happen, and the list goes on and on. We’ve all experienced this, but is that truly worthy of a social media update?
Personally, it makes me wonder how much work you get done in a day. It also shows that you don’t know how to handle minor stressors that come your way. I’m thinking if this person is complaining about that, then what would they do if something big happened. I don’t want to work with a cry baby.
Look back at your last 20 status updates. If half of those fall in the whiney category, take steps to fix this. Consider upping your game by being more positive or here’s a thought, pipe down in general. If you’re feeling extremely irritable, maybe it’s best to take a break from expressing your feeling on social media or take a break in general. No one needs to know. Whether you binge-watch 20 back episodes of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, talk to a friend or just go exercise, work out your feelings in private so you don’t put all of that negativity out into the Twitterverse.
2. Not following through when corresponding with potential customers
I don’t know how many times I posted in a Facebook group looking for potential help with administrative work, social media assistance, bookkeeping or even outreach for low-cost publicity, only to not have them not follow through. At first, you get a bunch of people banging down your Facebook thread door to work with you. Whether you correspond via the comments, messenger, email, etc., be sure to connect with the person that asked for help as soon as you can.
I know that I’m expecting the person to take the lead on moving things forward to a call or another way to get more information about their services, etc. If you leave things up in the air or don’t act quickly, the person can move on to someone else that will help them. It can also leave with the wrong impression, and they can choose not to ever work with you in the future.
3. Complaining about your current clients can make you lose money.
We all have times where maybe we get an email from some far off land or what seems like another planet by someone claiming to be a prince that wants to send you a wire transfer. I get it. Telling people about a potential scammer is status worthy. That’s different. It’s funny and can allow you to blow off a little steam that many people can relate to on some level.
When it comes to clients, it’s different. There are various parts of a website where you gather information about someone and promise not to share it. Many email signup forms have privacy policies. These forms ensure that the person you’re giving it to won’t share it with others. You might also sign an agreement that explains confidentiality regarding your working relationship and how you won’t divulge details to others. So why not match that level of professionalism when using social media. If the person finds out you’re talking about them, they could get mad and leave. If you lose a client, you lose money.
Here are a few rules I think people should follow:
- Don’t make fun of your client’s grammar. Everyone makes mistakes, and they are paying you. I once worked for someone who had a learning disability. He was an excellent salesperson and ran a successful business. He had to have his secretary draft up correspondence. Wouldn’t you feel bad if you knew that was the case?
- Don’t point out how the person keeps going back and forth on email bugging you. If they need more guidance, schedule a call or lead them to other services you offer.
- Become a clear communicator. It’s okay to feel frustrated if something isn’t going well. Look up scripts on HubSpot or other great sources on the internet to know exactly what to say. Also, consider asking a mentor the most professional way to handle the situation.
- Think before you post. Would you want someone to say this about you? If you wouldn’t, then don’t post it. Do you believe that this is something you could overlook or clear up in a simple email or call? If yes, don’t post it. Would you say this to the person’s face? Most likely you wouldn’t, so if you say no, let that guide your decision for posting online.
The Bottom Line
Although we all feel a broad range of emotions, in my opinion, they don’t always have to be expressed on the internet. Think before you post something about a client. No matter if you sell doilies on Etsy, photograph food or are a podcast guest booker, watch what you say about your customers. It might scare people away or turn off the people you currently work with you. Ultimately, if you don’t watch what you say, you can lose money.