How do you deal with "impossible" customers? - Page 2
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 33 of 33
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    eugene,or
    Posts
    780
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    68
    Likes (Received)
    325

    Default

    After college, I was a mechanic at a bike shop that sold and worked on high end road bikes for awhile. The owner had a hard rule against taking in "department store" bikes or any other low quality bikes for repair. There was another shop a few miles away whose owner he had some sort of beef with. Any time someone brought in a POS, we were told to say, "Sorry, we don't work on those bikes but there's this other place right down the way that specializes in those" and direct them to that shop.

    I met one of the mechanics from the other shop one day and he was pissing and moaning about always having to work on crap bikes. I didn't tell him about our store policy.

    Then again, we did send a fair about of work their way so......

    Teryk

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

  2. Likes MonCeret Gunsmit, n2zon liked this post
  3. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    pacific northwest
    Posts
    952
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    6
    Likes (Received)
    183

    Default

    Fantastic advice on this thread. I am not a gunsmith, but a self employed.

    #1- the customer who whines about the cost, and the time, is the same one who will come back complaining about the quality.

    #2- You get the work you do- if you do high end work, that is the work that will come in. If you take on crap jobs for cheap, you will be the guy the cheapskates come to to get their work done.

    #3- Never be rude or unpleasant, just extend the job cost or time to make it "impossible" for you to do it.

    #4- Pareto's Law- 20% of your customers will create 80% of your profit. Likewise, 20% of your customers will create 80% of your headaches. Sift carefully.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    11,555
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    48
    Likes (Received)
    8823

    Default

    Well I like guns, and I generally like gun owners. But then there are the "nuts". Now, there are nuts in any aspect of life. But, the gun flavor seem to be extra nutty.

    Good luck!

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    9
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    7

    Default

    it has usually been my experience with "whiners" is there usually the ones with the most money, always late paying their bill, always bitch about the cost, then when you tell them to hit the door and find someone else, then they apologize with oh I will never do it again, once I whipped out my paycheck and asked a customer how much I owed him for the pleasure of dropping everything and jumping on his because it was an emergency LOL the look on his face was priceless..

  6. Likes MonCeret Gunsmit liked this post
  7. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    87
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    60
    Likes (Received)
    65

    Default

    I've found there a few things in a career that really matter but number one is being happy with what you do. Do the absolute best you can do or don't do it and by this I mean, be the best by learning everything you can and being better than anyone else.
    Now, several years ago I thought because of my machining skills and my interest in firearms they'd mix well and I could make this hobby pay and give me discretionary cash, eventually build into a business of my own... wrong! I made a mistake - hobbies and business shouldn't be mixed. I don't care for repairing what Bubba did or making chicken salad out of chicken S%&@ when the piece really needs to be tossed. I started and I ended it. It was challenging when I quit doing gun work, had to quit all of it - even my own just to make the message loud and clear. Clients still came by and beat on the door.
    My own business that I did pursue and am still doing is machining. Not wanting to sound like a braggart, but from the moment I took the plunge, I was swamped, the market and the environment was ideal - and I only do the work I like to do. Then, five years later, I found I had some discretionary time - I don't repair guns I make them, mostly vintage single-shots some from scratch, some from castings and a few from originals - damn! it's fun and everything about it is addicting! AND I only do them for myself! but I have learned to say NO! I still have a few that come around and ask if I'd repair their POS and drag something in- threaten to leave it for me to work on - I stop them short if they leave it they'd better check the dumpster because that's where it'll land...
    So, to the OP, if what you are doing pleases you the majority of the time, I wish you well, if not, change now! Life is too short to be putting up with demanding, whining, idiots and Wes is spot on about the gun nuts!
    Greg

  8. Likes Butch Lambert, MIBill liked this post
  9. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Poetry Texas USA
    Posts
    1,722
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    259
    Likes (Received)
    192

    Default

    I gave up my FFL and only do what I want to when I want to do it. People can be nutty regardless of the service.
    Just had a customer come in and bitch that his Escalade had an engine light after he said he spent $700 on it the other day. I said, "Don, lets us scan it while you are here". In January we did $550 worth of computer related work to it, not the other day. He had an evap code. Cheapest thing you always check first, loose gas cap. Well, his gas cap was hanging by the plastic string and not installed. We installed his gas cap and cleared the codes. Over 250,000 miles on it. He is OK, but a real pain in the AZZ sometimes.
    I have had a car repair facility for 40yrs and 98% of my customers are great people. But who do we remember and talk about? The 2%.

  10. Likes shutinlead liked this post
  11. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    19
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    24
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    G'Day Fella's,

    MonCeret Gunsmit, sorry to hear of these problems but if it helps, you aint by yourself.

    Back in 2003 (?), when I first registered my business, I was required to attend a small business course.
    Most of this course was about flogging you some computer progam for accounting, which I wasn't interested in.
    What made attending this course worth while, was one thing they told us, and I quote;
    "There is No recipe for running a Successful business but we can guarantee you, that if you attempt to satisfy evey customer, this is a guaranteed recipe to make a business Fail."

    So what I attempt to do, is make sure that any service I provide and everything I make, is as good as or better than anybody else's product. That way you tend to eliminate problems in advance .......... Easier said than done but I'm still in business.

    Hope that helps

    D'oh!
    Homer

  12. Likes MonCeret Gunsmit liked this post
  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    29
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    17

    Default

    For impossible customers give them impossible prices. They go away real quick when your shop rate is $500 an hour. Although... I once did that and the guy paid it so I had to do it.

    Thankfully now, I don't do any walk in work.

  14. Likes MonCeret Gunsmit, HomerOz liked this post
  15. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Texas
    Posts
    938
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    146
    Likes (Received)
    159

    Default

    If you get that feeling in your gut that this customer may be impossible to please, just say your too busy to do there job.


    Quote Originally Posted by MonCeret Gunsmit View Post
    Life was grand when this was a "side job" or "side business" for me.

    I was building custom new builds for customers with new parts, or say turning a mass produced bolt action into a fully custom rifle, after truing up the action and bolt, etc. happy parts, making happy guns making happy customers making a happy bank account.

    I guess I'm slow to learn....How many times in my life have I heard "If it aint broke, don't fix it?"

    I said: "I should go for it and do this full time!" I'm stupid!

    Now I'm in the world of jamming 1100's, jamming lever guns, jamming 22's, pitted muzzle loader barrels that the owners refuse to believe is pitted (yuh'know, cause bore scopes are lying bastards) On & on.

    Yeah, I had no idea how good I had it.

    And the anomaly that is making crazy...... Why is it the owners of the most frustrating guns, are the most frustrating customers to boot.

    So what do you do when customers are seriously over the top? I mean in the past, I'm the kind of guy that is not afraid to set a guy straight, and in hurry. But I'm guessing that's not the best route to take when serving the public and word of mouth will make you or break you?


    Where do you draw the line?
    What do you do when the line is crossed?


    Thanks.

  16. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,299
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3162
    Likes (Received)
    3344

    Default

    Charge for all wasted time at shop rate.
    The only bad customers are the ones that you can't trust their check.

  17. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,172
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    296

    Default

    You can always bid the job as "Time and Materials" and see how that flies. You take it if the customer takes it.

  18. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    6
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    I am just a hobbyist but have a good friend that is a great guy but he can put on the grumpy gunsmith hat on quick.

    He said in the beginning he did a lot of work on old worn out guns of low value and of dubious condition. Impossible to find parts, and worn out too when you did find them.

    He quickly learned that saying no to a job was sometimes necessary and prudent. If you do fix a cheap gun and it breaks again then your name is tied to that old worn gun that belonged in the dumpster.

    If you choose work that reflects well on you, you will be better off in the long run.

    This is the fellow that built rifles for me. He liked our projects better than fixing the Amish electrical taped guns.


    ETA just got off the phone with him thanks to the thread. He is on his way to a bench rest shoot with a couple buddies this morning. Guns he built.

  19. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Perhaps reduce your scope of work to what you're confident and comfortable with. Be very up front that you can look at something if you wish to look at it but there's no guarantee that you can fix it. No gunsmith can possibly be a master at every firearm platform.

    I only work on the platforms I'm proficient with and keep my name recognition there. You'll be known as the go-to guy for that thing.

    I've had people ask me to look at something I'm unfamiliar with and depending on what they want me to do, I say yes or no. If it's something I know I can do, like install a trigger kit that they purchased, sure. If they need me to fix a jamming gun on a platform I've never touched, I'll probably say no.

    If they want me to look at a platform I'm proficient with, I tell them what my inspection and problem diagnosis rate is. After that, additional repairs and services have standard prices, which I'm up front about.

    Tony.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •