We have all dealt with that crazy customer or client that behaved in a way that defied all logic and basic decency. If you have yet to experience this, you must not have been dealing with other people in your job for very long.
In early 2017 we brought on a new client in the area of lead generation. We were selling the client calls directly from customers for their business in their local area, asking to buy the service they offered. We think lead generation is a pretty amazing deal for our clients, because its zero risk. We assume all the risk of failure and the client gets to enjoy the marketing success without all the possibility of failure.
We identified the terms very clearly, had the client sign a contract about what we were going to deliver in very simple terms. The client was very pleasant and excited to get started.
In some instances lead generation can take a while to get ramped up, and the leads may not get delivered right away. In this instance however we hit a home run with our marketing from day one. We were delivering calls directly from customers asking to spend thousands of dollars with our client. They had the potential to make a lot of money from our arrangement, and this had us excited because it could develop into a long term client relationship for us.
Then came the moment we listened to all the recorded calls we had been delivering. The client was very rude to the customers we were sending. It was clear the client was a terrible fit because they were going to destroy our reputation in the process. So we brought the issue up with the client who was immediately extremely offended when we offered polite suggestions. We knew it was doomed from that point on so we politely told the client we were going to sever the relationship, and as we had already over-delivered on the number of leads we had promised, we figured there could not be much negative recourse from the client.
Boy were we wrong!!!
The client immediately began asking for a refund, with the threat that they were going to bad mouth us all over the internet if we didn't.
We don't take well to being bullied or manipulated by people, so we ceased communication with the former client. it didn't take a week before they had complained to the BBB and written dozens of nasty reviews about us all over the web.
Then a few weeks later we find an odd deduction from our bank account only to find the client was disputing the charges as fraudulent!
Wow, it was a good thing we had a signed contract to deliver to the bank to prove we were in the right. But even with this proof the bank is still holding the money months later while they "review" the case.
Now imagine our future clients found our negative reviews from this crazy person and we didn't have lots of positive ones to show that it was unfounded?
Having a strong reputation management protocol in place is critical for when crazy people do stupid things. Vindictive people can go out of their way to harm your business you need to protect your brand that you spent all those years building up.