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Happy clients and steadily growing businesses still can suffer from the plague of buyer’s remorse. What is it? It is the negative feeling a customer has after they purchase a new product/service. It can creep up…

a.) Right away, before the product/service is delivered;
b.) During the execution of the product or service; or
c.) After the completion and receipt of the product/service.

This unfortunate phenomenon exists more often than you might expect. And the worst part is many companies suffer from this without knowing.

One contractor learned this the hard way, when he invited a group of his happy clients out to lunch and let them speak their mind with me—he excused himself from the lunch table. We got them warmed up with some opened-ended questions, and then we opened the door to the questions of “value.” They started off polite enough, but then they got emotional and their feeling of “not 100 percent completely satisfied” emerged.

To that end, here are the six steps of buyer’s remorse from the buyer’s perspective:

  1. He is a great designer; the work his company does is fantastic.
  2. We paid a lot of money, and we felt it was worth it.
  3. Our designer tended to disappear toward the end of the project. We couldn’t get a hold of our designer at all afterward. He was too busy taking care of his next lead.
  4. We had questions for the designer about our project afterward that we only got partially answered. We still have some open questions.
  5. We started to wonder if we paid too much.
  6. We opted to not to do phase two (or three) of our project with this particular company; we looked elsewhere. We still would refer this company for design and perhaps for laying out the bones, but we might tell our friends to use someone else to build it and enhance it.

Does your company have clients suffering from this? You may not know. It is not what your clients tell you, but it is what they “don’t tell you” that can undermine your future growth and profitability.

So, what should you do to prevent or counteract buyer’s remorse? Here are some best practices to keep top of mind:

  • Ensure someone in your company is assigned to hold your customer’s hands and is skilled at doing so.
  • Don’t let your projects “final 5 percent” linger on; wrap them up quickly.
  • Circle back with your clients during the warranty period; be proactive.
  • Don’t let warranty work linger either, as it is the “bookend” on a client’s perception of you, the final lasting impression.
  • Don’t make your (service or design/build) clients chase you; many will give up while still having unanswered questions or unfulfilled needs.
  • Reach out to your clients periodically, and ask them if they have any questions or needs. Mix it up with email, door hangers, phone calls and/or texts.
  • And finally, don’t rest on your laurels, even if you currently are nailing it.

Success can be your biggest enemy. Don’t ever stop aiming to improve.


Jeffrey Scott

About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit

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