Handling troublesome clients is one thing that most business establishments fail to carry out properly. I have witnessed a situation where a customer was thrown out of a bank after series of venting. The young man was actually trying to complain to the cashiers, but because they sucked at their jobs they didn’t cooperate with him. Then he lost it. He started yelling, demanding to see the manager. After a few minutes two policemen forcefully tossed him out. Now, that’s quite a bad way of handling clients and customers (even though sometimes they’re wrong).
As a business owner, you have no choice but to deal with your customers’ complains. No matter what it is, just listen to them and proffer solutions if you can. Treating them with contempt will worsen the situation, and at the end of the day, it will give you a bad name. And most importantly, you’re likely to lose them as well. In order for you to keep your customers, you need to treat them well. I know, most customers are belligerent, inconsiderate, taciturn…, whichever word you’re looking for, but the fact still remains that it’s part of your job to treat them well. Remember the saying, “Customers are always right.”
With this small article, I’ll be discussing 6 smart ways through which you can handle troublesome clients or customers. Take your time to go through them and feel free to object, add your own points or experience. It is going to be a quick one.
1. GIVE THEM THE CHANCE TO VENT – LISTEN TO THEM
Always allow your customers or clients to express themselves. Let them express their anger, disappointments or the inconveniences your services may have subjected them to. But do not agree with them if they’re wrong. Agreeing with them could get things deteriorated.
Most of your clients or customers aren’t always as troublesome as you think, they just want you to give them the feeling of “I’m in charge here,” the feeling of importance. They want you to hear them speak, and comply to their request, so by all means, let them speak.
If the client uses an angry tone to address you, do well not to respond with the same tone. Doing so can fuel the already burning furnace. Try to maintain absolute professionalism throughout the conversation.
2. TAKE YOUR TIME
Don’t be in hurry to respond, especially if you’re communicating with the client or customer through email or any online platform. Take your time to digest the situation. Give yourself sometime – 1 or 2 hours, or even a whole day if possible.
Try to think through the situation and find out where you may have gone wrong. Don’t try to deny that you’re not at fault and dismiss the client or customer’s concerns, instead, use the opportunity to do some reflections.
3. APOLOGIZE AND GIVE THEM REASSURANCE IF YOU’RE AT FAULT
After letting them express themselves, apologize and give them reassurance by making them believe that you have their best interest in heart. Let them believe that every decision you’re making is for their own good. I disagree with the notion that customers are always right. Take the blame only if you’re at fault. But if you’re not at fault, do not apologize, just proffer solution.
4. COME UP WITH A RESOLUTION
This is one of the best strategies you can apply when trying to handle a difficult or troublesome client or customers. As a business person, you should be able to come up with a solution. Brainstorm until you come up with an idea that can help the situation. In most situations, proffering solution to your troublesome clients or customers is like giving candy to a baby. If you can proffer solutions to their problems, then it’s as proffering solution to your own problem too, because if their problems are resolved,
If you can have their problems fixed, don’t wait until the situation becomes intense before trying to fix it. The sooner you fix the problem, the better for you.
5. BE READY TO TAKE THE LOSS
This is one major risk in any business, always be ready to take the loss. Handling difficult clients or customers sometimes can be so frustrating and time consuming. Sometimes, it’s just not worth it – all the trouble and time. So the best thing to do is to give them a refund if possible (regardless of who is right or wrong).
6. LEARN FROM THE SITUATION
Every failure is a stepping stone. You can only fail if you fail to learn from a failed situation. Believe me, you can learn a lot from difficult clients or customers. Learning from these situations make it easier for you to handle similar clients or customers in the future.