Every business has their fair share of difficult clients, i mean after all… it’s part of the experience of owning your own business. But it can also be a valuable learning and business-building experience too because quite often a difficult client can actually help you grow your business.
Of course in order to reap any rewards, you must learn to successfully handle difficult clients so here are a few strategies to help you along the way.
Listening to a difficult client is perhaps the single most challenging task. However, when you really listen to a client it accomplishes several things.
First: The client feels as if they’ve been heard. This is important and often times it’s what they’re really looking for. They want to know that you’ve heard their complaints and concerns. Listening means not interrupting. It means responding to their concerns and complaints without getting defensive – even if they’re 100% wrong.
Second: A client can tell if you’re listening to them if you respond with comments that confirm you’ve heard them. For example, “I understand” or “I hear what you’re saying.”
Once you’ve heard your customer’s concerns, spend some time reflecting. It may be, when you take an honest look at the situation, that they have a very valid point. This is where business growth and better customer relationships happen. Ask yourself, “What can I do to improve the process and prevent this from happening again?”
A simple apology can go a long way to mend fences. It’s important to know that apologizing doesn’t mean you’re admitting to any wrongdoing. An apology can simply let your client know that you’re sorry they were frustrated or that they experienced any difficulties. For example, “I’m sorry the product didn’t meet your needs.” This is a simple apology that addresses a customer’s problem without saying that your business is at fault.
When you can, make amends. It doesn’t always make sense to make amends with a client. Some clients will never be satisfied. The best thing may be to let them know you’re not the right company to meet their needs and move on. However, a difficult customer can also turn into your best customer.
Making amends often makes great business sense. How do you make amends? Provide the customer with a discount. Give them something for free. Provide them with a coupon for future use or offer to repair the product at no cost. There are many ways to make amends, and the situation and the customer will often determine your best course of action.
Often, simply creating a system to manage difficult clients will help you streamline the process. The faster you can come to a resolution, the happier you and your customer will be!
I hope you’ve found this information to be helpful and if so I’d love to hear from you! Please let me know what is the one tip you received from this post that you think will help you in your business the most by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.
If you have any additional questions about starting your business or need assistance with expanding or marketing your business, please feel free leave me a comment or post it on my Facebook Page and I’ll try to assist you in any way I can!
Have an awesome day!