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Common Disputes with Customers and How to Deal with Them

Making customers happy one at a time is how a business-to-customer ("B2C") company builds its most valuable asset - its reputation.  Being prepared to effectively address issues with customers is the key to successful growth. This is an approximate list of things a business should consider when offering products or services to customers.  This list is not exhaustive and may depend on the type of products or services.  For more detailed information, please consult with an attorney.

1. Quality and description of products or services
To avoid misunderstandings with customers, it is important to set their expectations correctly. 
  • Establish a quality control system and have a person who will be responsible for customer support.
  • Accurately label and advertise your products or services (no misleading photos or descriptions).
  • Do not overstate your promises, or they can be interpreted as express warranties or contracts.
  • Draft Terms and Conditions for the use of products or services.

2. Timing and terms of delivery or performance
Again, setting customers' expectations correctly is the key.
  • Accurately describe the terms of delivery and performance in the Terms and Conditions and/or the purchase/ service contract.
  • Have a person who will be responsible for customer support.
  • Draft and implement return policies.
  • Use reliable fulfillment and shipping services.
  • Train your personnel to follow all steps of the fulfillment process.

3. Incorrect charges
  • Use a reliable payment processing system and POS.
  • Have a system for keeping track of all transactions and contracts.
  • Have a system of communication with customers that provides timely notices and responses.

4. Unhappy customer reviews
  • Have a person who will be responsible for customer support.
  • Have a system of communication with customers that provides timely notices and responses.
  • Check and establish a system for verifying the reviews.
  • Ask customers to contact you if they have any issues.
  • Respond to reviews promptly, politely, and positively.  If the review is inaccurate or false, do not wait to address it. 

5. Injuries, damages, losses
  • Have proper insurance coverage. 
  • Include all necessary disclaimers, especially if products or services may pose a risk of injury if misused
  • Include all necessary instructions and disclosures, especially for regulated products or services (check federal and state standards).
  • If you receive a claim of injuries, damages, or losses, promptly speak with an attorney before doing anything else. 
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