6 Best Ways to Handle a Dissatisfied Client
Manta December 2017
The occasional unhappy client comes with the territory. These tips will help turn an unpleasant situation into a win for our business.
At one time or another, you will find yourself dealing with an angry or dissatisfied client. As unpleasant or uncomfortable these situations may seem initially, here are a few tips for keeping your reputation and professional demeanor intact.
1. KEEP YOUR HEAD LEVEL – If a client comes up to you in the throes of a temper tantrum, don’t panic! Nothing will be resolved if there is tension between you and the client. Take a deep breath and show you are confident in your business and your ability to help the person. Don’t match the person’s tone if they are upset: be the catalyst to help calm things down.
2. LISTEN CLOSELY TO WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY – One of the biggest mistakes you can make when handling an angry client is not giving them the chance to explain the situation. If you try to rush them through a quick solution, the client will feel like you don’t care about their concerns and are just trying to get them out of your hair. Give the client time to explain the problem; even if they ramble, just grin and bear it while using your attentive listening skills to hear them out.
3. EMPATHIZE AND APOLOGIZE – After the client is finished venting about the problem, they want to know you can empathize with them. Let them know that you understand why they are upset. There is no need to be all business, let your softer side show though. Even if you don’t believe our company made a mistake, always apologize to let the client know that you acknowledge the inconvenience and care about what they think of you and the business.
4. OFFER A SOLUTION – The main reason that a dissatisfied client approaches you is to let you know they are unhappy, and they would like to see action taken. If you are unsure as to what direction to take, ask the client what a fitting solution would be for them, within reason of course. Or if you feel confident enough, you can offer a fair and realistic fix for the problem. Management is here to help when you are unsure how to address the client – the point is – make sure it is addressed – don’t let it fall into the cracks or pushed to a back burner.
5. DON’T TAKE IT PRTSONALLY – When someone storms up to you in anger and frustration, it can be easy to become defensive as a natural response. Try to remember that the client is not angry at your personally, they are dissatisfied with the performance of your products or services. You should never start an argument in your defense: this will solve nothing and can cause the situation to escalate. Having a thick skin is a requirement with those that deal with client complaints.
6. LEARN FROM WHAT HAPPENED – While you simply can’t please everyone all the time, it is crucial to learn from these unpleasant situations. Slip-ups and mistakes do happen – you are only humans, after all. Don’t allow yourself to stress over what happened and instead use it as a means of reflection of how you conduct business. What worked and what didn’t work? What could you have done differently? Every mistake, no matter how minor, is an opportunity for you to learn and improve the business.