Every entrepreneur has worked with difficult clients. It can be challenging to stay calm instead of angry and upset, but every client is valuable. Losing your cool can lead to a loss of business and your reputation.
Here are seven suggestions to improve relations with clients and customers.
1. Prepare ahead of time
Regardless of how good you are or how many awards you have won, it is impossible to please everybody. It is important that a business owner develops a good reputation in their area of expertise to buffer the possible problems of dealing with difficult customers. Make a list of your company’s accomplishments and awards to include in your advertising campaign. Develop a strong foundation of customer satisfaction. That will work to your advantage when dealing with an unhappy customer.
2. Get everything in writing
Sometimes it is your loyal customers who are most difficult. It is important that you get everything in writing when dealing with them. Misunderstandings will happen, and expectations will not always be met. In dealing with anybody, put everything down in writing to save money and heartache down the road.
3. Always be sincere
People can tell when someone is truly honest and caring. It is vital that you are sincere, caring, and honest with all your customers. Some entrepreneurs act nice and professional only when they are in the public eye. Since you never know who is watching, never do anything you wouldn’t want to become public. Be honest and sincere all the time, not just when people are watching. If problems do arise, people will always side with the honest and sincere person.
4. Listen to your customers
Listen to your customers and view your customer service issues through their eyes. You might be surprised by what you learn. Don’t assume that you know what your customers want and always listen to the facts of a given situation. Never argue with your clients and always remain polite and professional.
5. Be open to new possibilities
Do not get into a rut performing your business services. A customer can provide valuable advice on how you do business and it’s important to remain flexible enough to consider their suggestions. If a customer tells you about a similar company in another city that handles its marketing campaign a lot differently than your business, don’t get upset and offended. Listen to what your customer is telling you. Be willing to improve and make changes as needed. Do not assume you have all the answers and remain committed to doing things more efficiently.
6. Get help from your employees
Enlist the services of your employees who could be of assistance in working with your challenging clients. In addition, a business could hire someone who is an expert in public relations. Some of your other workers may have the experience and skills of dealing with difficult people. If you feel a particular person is difficult to work with, ask for help.
7. Prepare for unexpected surprises
Sometimes, things happen that take everyone by surprise. Be flexible. When unexpected things happen, deal with them immediately. If some of your employees call out sick on one of your busiest days, don’t get all stressed out. Just reassign some tasks to others or take it upon yourself to handle your customers directly for the day.
Stan Popovich is the author of the popular managing fear book, “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear”. For more information about Stan’s book and to get some free mental health advice, please visit Stan’s website at managingfear.com.
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