A customer-seller relationship is one like any other-- it can go through rough patches and it needs some repairs if there is some dysfunction. If you are in a spot where you keep feeling like "all" of your customers hate you, are difficult, complain too much, etc, then you might need to think about how to fall back in love with them. When you take steps to mend the relationship, not only will you start to see things in a more clear perspective, but you will also be more energized about your work.
Talk to Them, Not at Them
It is SUPER easy to sit at a computer and feel like you are just pushing messages out into the world and you aren't actually talking to people. And it is also hard to remember that when you are sending these messages you are talking to people, for the most part, who have said, "YES! I want your information." Try to put yourself into much more of a conversation mindset. Think about writing your posts or emails as though you are talking to one specific person. Imagine talking to a customer you actually know and are wanting to have a conversation with. When I do this, it makes my posts more engaging and also makes me feel less like what I am saying is going into some blackhole where no one cares about me.
Make a List
And check it twice! Create a list of reasons why you appreciate your customers. This can be everything from that they help you buy food to they allow you to pursue your passion of making. All the "small" things too: they like paying cash at shows, they leave good reviews or at least don't leave bad ones, they don't have a million questions when they order OR they have questions when they order because they care so much! Some of thhese things could easily feel negative, but try seeing how they are actually positives.
Another list you might want to make? Keep a doc on your computer that is a compilation of all positive feedback you receive. This can be reviews, social media comments, in-person comments at a craft show, etc. Reference this list any time you get to feeling negative. It's very easy to forget how loved you are when hit with one negative comment.
Talk to Other People
We ALL deal with difficult customers at some point. Often when we experience a difficult customer, it happens in isolation-- over an email, on social media or even at a show. No one is around who is your support system (usually) to immediately tell you, "Oh, that was crazy. They are having a bad day. This is not you. It's them." So, having supportive peers can remind you that this is all just "part of the job."
Just make sure you are able to blow off the steam and not fester on it. This can devolve into a big customer bashing session if you are not careful, but sometimes when I hear the struggles of other people I realize that they are all dealing with these things too and it makes me feel way more normal about my struggles. Surround yourself with others who want to move forward in their business and it will help you do the same.
Talking the Talk will Help You Walk the Walk
Just tell your customers you appreciate them... whether individually when you interact with them or via social media. I find that simply stating that I am grateful to someone for whom I am grateful for MAKES me more grateful for everything else. The more you can keep brining up the positivity, the more you will see other positive things.
How do you stay positive about your customers? Let us know in the comments!