There are a lot of really good things that can come from being a business owner. You no longer answer to a boss or supervisor. You don’t have to worry about getting fired or laid off. You are in full control of your financial destiny.
There are also a few things that may not be as enjoyable. Filing your own taxes. Creating and pushing marketing campaigns. And dealing with difficult clients.
In any professional field, there will always be unhappy customers. You’ve heard it said that you cannot please everybody all the time, and they prove this point. It may be because of something beyond your control or because of something you had a part in, but sooner or later you will be dealing with an unhappy client.
All entrepreneurs know this, but it doesn’t make it easier to accept. Handling clients who are problematic can be a huge drain on you – especially if they have no qualms about giving you a hard time while causing a scene. While it’s no picnic, navigating this touchy situation properly can save you a lot of stress, work to your advantage and possibly bring the client back to your side. Here are a few helpful tips for dealing with a difficult client.
• Listen. Few entrepreneurs look forward to phone calls or emails from angry customers, but it is vital that you hear them out. If they are taking the time to reach out to you, no matter how upset they are, they want you to know their problem. In an ideal scenario, they want you to resolve it for them so that they can continue to do business with you. But even if they choose to go elsewhere, the feedback they gave you can be used to improve your quality of service for other customers.
• See their point of view. Have you ever gotten a call from an unhappy customer who thought little of what you do? For example, maybe they told you that web designers are glorified code monkeys who just stare at computers all day. This can be insulting to anyone, but try seeing the picture from where they stand. They may think that way because they do not know what goes into being a web designer. This can help you to develop empathy for the customer – which may win them over in the end.
• Give them a solution. More often than not, all the client wants is for you to fix the problem for them. If you can do so, then tell them what you will do, how you will do it, and then do it right away. A quick and effective solution can turn a client’s frown upside down pretty quickly.
• Be patient. No matter what, do not try to fight fire with fire. Becoming defensive, talking over clients or giving them ultimatums is a surefire way to doom any chance of resolving things peacefully. If all else fails and the situation cannot be salvaged, be the bigger person and weather the storm. Once it’s done, move on and focus on helping your other customers.
You are bound to deal with unpleasant customer experiences at some point in your enterprise, but it is not as bad as it seems. A difficult client can be won over with tact and effective customer service. And if not, then the situation will provide a learning experience that can make you a better business owner.
Dealing With Difficult Clients For Entrepreneurs Credit Picture License: 07302014 – AD at Let’s Read, Let’s Move with at Library of Congress with Acting Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, NFL Hall of Famer Quarterback Warren Moon and Chef Pati Jinich (111) via photopin (license)