The world would be so much easier to deal with if everyone was nice -without difficult clients. But as you know, that’s not the case, especially in business. Now and then you can be faced with difficult clients, which makes your job difficult. It’s easy to get angry when handling a tricky client, but reacting in this way won’t benefit your business or your reputation.
So how can you handle difficult clients without losing your cool? Here are some of the ways to approach it.
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Always stay calm
The first thing to remember when handling difficult clients is always stay calm. Keep your tone measured and don’t react with anger, even if you’re being met with it. Try to make notes of what’s being said so that you can respond accordingly. If you’re dealing with a tricky client via email, count to ten or get someone to sense-check what you’re saying before you hit reply!
Know what your rights are
Some client disputes can get serious, especially when legal action is threatened. It’s important that you seek the right guidance for any legal disputes before you respond and possibly make things worse. Trusted law firm Slater Heelis solicitors can help you where needed, providing guidance and responding on your behalf. Before making any kind of agreement or contract with a client, make sure you have your legal team check over it to ensure that everything is above board.
Try a face to face meeting
It’s easy to be angry over phone and email – hiding behind a screen feels less confrontational, in a way. If your client is communicating in a way that is unproductive or even rude, why not suggest a face to face meeting instead? This can help you talk through your problems over a coffee (and with others if necessary) to come to a reasonable solution together. People tend to be more polite in person, so sometimes it’s better to clear the air face to face to be able to move things forward.
Be as accommodating as possible
Even a difficult client is still a client. If you want to keep their business, then you need to be as accommodating as possible to try and resolve the problem. Ask them for their requirements and come up with solutions to correct any issues, even if they’re not explicitly your fault. Sometimes clients change their minds or there can be a miscommunication, but they’ll respect you for handling things in a professional way and hopefully continue to be a client. If you need to vent afterwards, do so in a safe space! We all deal with frustrating people now and then, but it’s important not to let it get to you.
Knowing how to handle difficult clients is one of the things you need to do to protect your business. With your reputation and income at risk, it’s good to know how to respond in these tricky situations and make it out the other side. Always remember to take a deep breath – things are never as bad as they seem!