The Customer with Buyer Remorse


The customer calls or returns to your place of business complaining bitterly that the product he purchased or service he contracted for was not at all what he wanted. He has a myriad of complaints, and either wants to return it, or void the contract. You were involved in the sale, and have a vivid memory of how excited the customer was at the time. You know it was perfect for him. What happened?

In many cases what has happened is a phenomenon referred to as ‘buyer remorse.’ Someone who gets caught up in the moment, and makes a decision he later regrets (or one that a spouse/significant other vetoes when he or she gets home). He doesn’t want to look foolish by just saying “I changed my mind,” so he looks for tangible reasons for getting you to take it back. He also may be afraid that you may not accept ‘I changed my mind’ as a good enough reason to refund his money.

How do you deal with buyer remorse? Refund the money or tear up the contract, plain and simple. Then tell the customer that he is valuable, and that you want to look after him. There is rarely a long-term payoff to standing your ground and insisting on “a deal is a deal.” When you look at the balance sheet of how much that customer might represent to you in sales over a lifetime, and the positive or negative things he will be saying about you to friends and acquaintances, you’re better off keeping him happy. (If you’ve already completed a service that you can’t take back, of course, the situation is different).

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