Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Client or Friend.

Dear Tiger, I did some work for a friend in Second Life and felt he was pleased only to discover that he has been complaining about me to others. I am concerned this could ruin my Second Life business and my friendship is can i trust him?

My industrious friend, thank you for this question and for your contribution to Content in Second Life. I dislike it when people put on a false face then go around spreading negativity when the subject thereof is not present. The strategy for handling this is the same as it would be for any business, analog or digital. You should determine the source of your client's dissatisfaction (in this scenario he is more your client than your friend) and seek to correct whatever is amiss in such a way that does not hurt your business (i.e. - doesn't drain your finances overmuch). Here is an opportunity for you to show just how good your customer service skills are. You should approach him in a friendly manner with something along the lines of, "I have heard you may be dissatisfied with the work I did for you? I wish you would have come to me about it. I'd like to do what I can to fix it." I'd wager that once his grievance is addressed the episode will pass and the overwhelming voices of your satisfied customers will prevail.

Repairing your friendship is another matter entirely. Your friend displayed poor manners in complaining to others behind your back when he should have gone to you privately and explained his issues. A most ungentlemanly display. Yes, it will be difficult to trust him after this, of not impossible. Such matters of trust can only be repaired over time and even then only partially. You have to decide how important it is to you to maintain the friendship and whether you are willing to give him the time to regain your trust.

Ask a tiger.

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