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The Nerve.... What would you do?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by nowimhere, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. nowimhere

    nowimhere Regular Member

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    Kay, I am running a WSO right now.
    I have been pretty successful at it,
    and I have build a customer list of a little over 500 people.

    Now, I have a "front end" product
    and a back end product.

    I somehow seem to attract stone cold newbies to my offer.

    Fine.

    My front end, deals quite in detail with a step by step process's I have
    used to make some pretty good money online.

    The backend,

    Pretty much does all the work for the person.

    Front end is around 20 bucks.

    I have had a few customers, ask me quite a deal
    of questions via email.

    Also fine.

    Its when they start to send over ten emails, that
    I get a little annoyed.

    (I got into this IM biz for it be HANDS OFF, you know?)

    So, quite often (actually ALWAYS) I STILL reply to those emails.
    Answering these boring, drab newbie questions.
    Again, annoying.

    Now, recently I have had a few customers who have sent me
    over 10 emails (this one customer in particular sent me 18)
    And these people have only purchased the front end product.

    Yesterday, I was having a good time and hanging out with friends.

    This ONE person asked me nearly 20 questions (or so it seemed)
    relating to the front end, and a number of questions relating to the backend.

    Some of those questions, she asked twice.

    Honestly, I was so confused onto what she was actually asking
    at this point, that I just responded to her questions answering
    her with the same answer I gave her before. Leaving out her other
    questions.

    Now she wants a refund because of the "tone" in which I responded
    to her last email.

    Seriously?

    You just sent me about 18 emails, 5 or so in the last few days,
    DEMAND all this extra time of mine, then ask for a refund on
    a 20 dollar front end product?

    I did my research.

    Thank god.

    Turns out she purchased May 4th.

    So I wrote her back with THIS email:
    (and I quote)

    I personally think I handled the situation quite well.

    But I just know she is going to make a little stink about it.

    What would you have done in this situation?
    & What would you do in my situation now, if she does
    make a stink about it?

    I was going to post this thread in the WF, but I like this forum WAY more.

    Business, business, business.

    I love it.

    But it can totally be a bitch sometimes.

    I guess thats just the way she goes...

    :batman:
     
  2. MarketerMac

    MarketerMac Regular Member

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    are the lost sales from whatever problems this customer is going to create worth the $20? usually not..

    plus you know you're going to get a bunch more angry emails from them. with some customers it's better to just cut your losses and move on. if a refund will allow you to get past all of this without negatively effecting your future sales, I'd say just give them their money back and be done with it.

    this way you won't have to deal with them anymore, and if they do say anything negitive about your product, you can always respond with not only the fact that you spent so much time (whatever amount of emails) PLUS you still felt SO BAD that they didn't understand that you gave them their money back. Makes you look like quite the good guy.
     
  3. nowimhere

    nowimhere Regular Member

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    God Damn.

    I know what your saying is true.

    I guess I gotta, (as my buddy says)

    fire the customer.
     
  4. Jay12341235

    Jay12341235 BANNED BANNED

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    I think I've identified your problem! :)


    You did a fantastic job handling the situation. Very nice!
     
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  5. tacopalypse

    tacopalypse Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    don't offer support, or charge by the minute for it, or hire someone to do it for you.

    i liked the email though.
    "you can't have a refund, but instead you can buy more products from me." lol :p
     
  6. imperial109

    imperial109 Regular Member

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    You did great in this situation.

    One thing I like to do is setup a limited ticket system. Only allow them 5 questions or posts/day and have some text saying that other people have questions that need tending and you'll get to their question within the next 48 hours.

    Also, don't give them your email, make the ticket system email you when there's a post. Don't make a forum support system either, there's a bunch of newbie crackheads that will just ruin your business. Most of them, as you can probably already tell, will expect to pay $20 and get the world as the ROI.
     
  7. scb335

    scb335 BANNED BANNED

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    @nowimhere, as someone who has sold a lot of custom software products over the years, typically focused towards users in non-tech markets, the first piece of advice I would give is make and include a "how to use this product" product/manual when working with newbies or non-tech inclined customers. That alone will spare you many of those frustrating, basic questions.

    Seriously, sometimes you may even need to put more time and effort into the "how to use this product" manual then you do in creating the actual product, but it will pay for itself in less of your time being spent answering basic questions or demands for support, plus it leads to enhanced good will with your front end purchasing customers--which in turn can increase your back end conversions.

    Another rule of thumb I've adopted over the years with low end products (price points under $50) is my "rule of 4". A customer paying me $50 or less for a product gets 4 help/support emails before I (like your friend says) "fire the customer" and just refund them in full and walk away.

    I do bend a little on that rule on a case by case situation, but generally if a customer doesn't "get it" already between the "how to use this product" manual and 4 support emails then my opinion is they'll never be a profitable customer for me because they'll always need more from me then they're going to pay for; and I don't want those customers since I'm in business to make profits.

    Like I said, I bend on that rule sometimes because often that 4th or even 5th email will just be something really minor or a follow-up to the previous email...I try to gauge whether or not the customer is really trying to get it on their own or just needy and looking to be handed the world on a silver platter.

    If they seem to be trying I'll give them an extra email or two before cutting my losses and cutting them off. But, if they're obviously looking to have their hands held forever then it's 4 and out.

    I think you handled the customer professionally enough. Based on what you described, I personally would have refunded her anyway, even taking a hit on PayPal fees since it was past the 30 day point, just to be rid of her, but what you've offered is equal in terms of good faith I think. Whether or not the customer agrees is another story, they can be so fickle and opinionated at times :)

    Hope some of this is useful to you.
     
  8. nowimhere

    nowimhere Regular Member

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    Awesome guys.

    I should write in a TOS link and include that people are only allowed X
    number of questions.

    Newbies expecting the world, personal hand holding...
    COACHING basically....

    PISS ME OFF!

    BIG TIME.

    Like seriously, its seems these people are expecting ME to do
    all the work FOR THEM.

    Excuse me, but thats not how it works.

    I am really interested to see how she is going to react to my email.

    And if she just wants to bitch and moan, then FUCK HER.

    Have your fuckin 20 dollars back.

    Geezuz.
     
  9. nowimhere

    nowimhere Regular Member

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    Kay, if a TOS
    will decrease my sales.

    WTF should I do then?
     
  10. nowimhere

    nowimhere Regular Member

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    HAHAHAHA!

    Fellow Black Hatters,

    I WON!

    Check out her response to my email:

    Woo hoo!

    :dance:
     
  11. smasha

    smasha Newbie

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    Block her email address. You do not want to sell her a back end product. If you think she sends a lot of emails now imagine if she spends a few thousand $.
     
  12. nowimhere

    nowimhere Regular Member

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    True.

    I am currently developing my back end to have more of a high end price point.

    The other 'upsell' was only 47 dollars!

    But yea, totally agree with you man.
     
  13. tygrus

    tygrus Supreme Member

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    OP, just like other said, make 3 prices for the product, one is discounted and offers no support, the other is full price for the product and say a couple emails of support and then a premium version with unlimited support. 9 times out of 10 the customer will take the cheapest and leave you alone.
     
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  14. nowimhere

    nowimhere Regular Member

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    !OOOoooooooOOO!

    Thats pretty friggen sweet idea actually!

    I use ejunkie....

    Should I just make three different links?

    although... even the 'premium' version you suggest with
    unlimited support....

    I could see that too getting ugly, and those 10% of people
    taking up a good 80% of my time....

    Hmmmm....

    Maybe just two versions?

    I like these ideas....

    Keep em coming!
     
  15. taerix

    taerix Newbie

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    Why would you send that to her? Extremely unprofessional..
     
  16. biks

    biks Power Member

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    I've got a Clickbank product that I take inane questions all the time. Some people want their money back because they thought they were getting a real book, not a .pdf which I CLEARLY STATE on my sales page.

    I refund everybody. Since I'm such a "nice guy" who liberally gives refunds, I feel this then gives me the right to be as snarky as I want with my replies. Scratch that - this allows me (in my mind) to be of much as an asshole as I would like.

    My advice: don't hold back. You are your own boss from a reason, so you don't have to take someone's shit seriously. If feels very cathartic to give someone's money back and tell them they're a nitwit to their face.
     
  17. nowimhere

    nowimhere Regular Member

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    I agree.

    Obviously, once they get their refund, no more support is given.
     
  18. MisterGemini

    MisterGemini Senior Member

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    I have gotten clients like this in the past. They are the ones you want to get rid of. Remember the 80/20 rule. 20% are going to take up 80% of your time. You want to do whatever is possible to eliminate this 20% of customers.

    I too often just refund them to get rid of them. A number of times once I have reached a point where I just don't want to deal anymore, I simply reply to them saying I have refunded you, this is not for you, good-bye.

    The suggestions above about charging for support is a great way to minimize this. You are in a newbie market so you are going to get stuff like this come up all the time.

    I think you handled it well though. You upselled her with a discount offer and turned it into more money, which is the IM way. :) Now for that future release you can of course build in the proper TOS and price structure to put her in her place. :)
     
  19. plasmaflux

    plasmaflux Registered Member

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    I was recently hired by a one-man operation to help with his overflowing plate. At the time, he had one 'flagship' product that was doing well enough to cover both our salaries.

    When I started working with him, he was the same way - always responding to every email, spending hours a day in the support forum answering EVERY question, whether it was related to our product or not, etc.

    Within my first week, I was able to make it clear that it was this strategy that was draining his energy and his capacity to develop new products. At first we worked together on every forum post and every email, deciding which ones to answer and which ones to ignore. We deal with support now on Tuesdays and Thursdays, period; unless it's to deal with a legitimate bug in the app.

    The bottom line is this - pre-sales inquiries give you enough information to decide if a client is going to be a support nightmare or not. Unless your business is built around a recurring revenue stream (i.e., if you sell your product once and that's all the money you get from them), support nightmares are COSTING you money instead of MAKING you money, in the form of lost productivity.

    Since adopting this new strategy, the time spent on support and pre-sales emails is down at least 75%, sales are way up, refund requests are down, and we're on the brink of launching two new killer products within the next few weeks.

    As far as how you handled this situation, you went overboard and took the low road, in my opinion. Your final message showed a lack of professionalism and became a personal attack on this woman. Not only that, but you continued the conversation with her and invited her to continue being a pain in your ass by purchasing future products!

    If it were me, instead of the long-winded vent of frustration, I would've simply said this:

    Code:
    Hello XXX,
    
    Our records indicate you purchased ProductX more than 30 days ago.
    
    We have a firm policy, and are unable to provide refunds on purchases more than 30 days old.
    
    Regards,
    
    The ProductX Team
    Noteworthy is that, even if you're just one guy, it's always a good idea to use what I call the 'Professional Plural'. Instead of I, say We, instead of Joe Smith, say The ProductX Team. Not only does it make you seem more like a reputable organization, but it helps to provide an oft-needed layer of separation between you, the business, the product, and the customer.

    Anyhow, that's my two bits. I know how frustrating it can be, believe me. The way I do things now is based on countless hard-earned lessons in client interaction and business savvy.

    Best of luck.
     
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  20. MisterGemini

    MisterGemini Senior Member

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    This is something I do as well handling new clients. It's good to refer in pluralism like this as plasmaflux suggested.

    Only later when/if I develop a closer relationship with clients do I then address them personally. My tonality can change though when they start talking about anything related to my business.

    One thing is for sure, this one experience has given you a TON of really good feedback and advice to grow on. I think it was worth the 18 annoying emails don't you? :)