Every now and then you bump into a customer who is just never happy. If you bring them three things, they wanted four. If you show them something in red, they were expecting a different shade. If you give up an extra hour of your day for them, they wanted an hour and a half. They are the kind of people who, if they won a million dollars in a lottery, would complain about the taxes they would have to pay.

Whiners are difficult to work with for a couple of reasons. First is that they are, by definition, high maintenance. They demand a lot of attention. The second issue is that they can be very demotivating. It doesn’t matter how hard you work for a whiner, don’t wait around for a ‘thank you’ or any recognition for your efforts.

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to change a whiner. This is learned behavior that typically extends into every facet of their lives. There are some things you can do, however, to keep them as loyal customers. (Assuming you want them as customers, of course!)

One strategy is to make an effort to embrace the whining. When they ask for something, put on your biggest smile and say, “of course!” Your response will be a welcome change for these customers, since many people who have to deal with them will be unable to hide their annoyance or impatience. If you have the opportunity, let them know that you are prepared to give them special treatment before they ask for it. Saying things like, “I want to get this right for you” goes a long way.

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