I sell original paintings on eBay, and every once in awhile I get an eBay buyer who sends me an email saying how disappointed they are in my services; and every time, I feel horrible.
I care about my customers. However, at times, I think I care TOO much.
Sometimes the customer’s disappointment is my fault, but I’ll do everything in my power to fix the situation. Most times those customers will leave happy or return again for more business. It makes me feel good to know that I’m trustworthy and I’m doing my best to satisfy my customers.
Other times, I get a customer whose problem I cannot fix. The disappointment usually has to do with the post office delivery time. I ship paintings within two days of receiving payment for the painting, and then the delivery is totally out of my control. If a parcel is late, open communication is essential. After I call the Post Office or US Customs, explain to the customer why the parcel is late, the customer is usually very patient. However, every once in awhile the buyer will reply with a nasty email, usually with reasons as to why they will never buy paintings from me again. Even though I know I can’t fix the problem and I had nothing to do with the slow delivery, I still feel horrible.
Again, I care TOO much.
There are those types of customers that you just cannot please, no matter what you say or do. I have to learn how to deal with such customers, without getting knots in my stomach and losing my mind. The illogical stress can’t be good for me. So when I have to deal with these bad eBay buyers who are blaming me for things that are obviously out of my control, I’m going to start repeating to myself:
“Their anger has nothing to do with me.”
There’s a problem with the customer that’s much deeper than getting a late parcel in the mail. My job is to make and sell art, not to fix people.
(You may also want to read How to be at Peace Around Negative People.)