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How to Handle Challenging Clients with Grace

August 03, 2017  |     |   0 Comment

If you ever find yourself in a situation where a client is less than satisfied with your service or product, or is behaving in a way that is difficult, here are some client service DOs and DON’Ts to keep in mind so that you do not escalate a difficult situation, but rather, handle it with grace and continue to build client satisfaction and loyalty:

 

DO:

  • show empathy when a client is expressing a concern or frustration
  • use appropriate body language – be aware of your facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice
  • use the client’s name in conversation to demonstrate you are focused on them
  • proactively listen
  • ask questions to clarify
  • paraphrase what they have said or explained to you to demonstrate you heard them properly and understand the problem
  • reply only when you know the facts
  • respond in a pleasant, friendly, and professional manner
  • stay calm
  • be patient
  • find a solution – tell the client what you will DO
  • provide alternatives
  • follow up – demonstrate you are taking action and being proactive
  • check client satisfaction within 24 to 48 hours to ensure the problem is solved

DON’T:

  • ever say, “it’s not our policy”
  • every say “no” without offering an alternative
  • ever say “I can’t”
  • interrupt, especially if a client is showing anger or frustration
  • jump to conclusions
  • take things personally
  • be demeaning
  • argue
  • lose your temper
  • blame others
  • escalate the volume of your voice to talk over the client
  • end the conversation on a negative note or without a solution

At the end of the day, your relationship with your client boils down to respect.  And it is reciprocal. Etiquette dictates that you remain courteous and professional in any challenging client situation, always seeking a solution that works for your client, you and your business. This does not mean that you have to be submissive and let another person be aggressive, unkind or unreasonable with you.  However, if you are able to approach a challenging client situation with grace – knowing what to do and what not to do – you will always come out on top, enabling you to cultivate long-term relationships with clients, build customer loyalty, and differentiate your business from the competition.


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