Every entrepreneur has worked with difficult clients. It can be a challenge staying calm instead of angry and upset but, the fact is, every client is valuable. Losing your cool can lead to a loss of business and your reputation.
The good news is that preparing to deal with your most difficult customers will make you a champion to all the reasonable people you do business with.
1. Prepare ahead of time
Regardless how good you are or how many awards you have won, it is impossible to please everybody, all of the time. 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, 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 of your customers. Some entrepreneurs act nice and professional only when they are in the public eyes. Since you never know who is watching, never do anything you wouldn’t want to become public.
Be honest and sincere all of 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 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. First thoroughly listen to your customer’s complaints, then offer helpful suggestions.
Related: Tough Customers
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 its important to remain flexible enough to consider their suggestions. If a customer tells you a similar company in another city handles their 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 that you have all of the answers and always 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 that a particular person is difficult to work with, ask for some help.
7. Stay active in the community
A business that is active in their community enhances their reputation with the public. Get involved some youth programs, volunteer with a local community service organization or hold a charitable event. People will see that your company cares about the local community. That is a great way to improve your public image and reduce potential conflicts down the road.
8. 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 of the tasks to others or take it upon yourself to handle your customers directly for the day. Learn to find the solution instead of being the problem.