“The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them”
Everyone has come across difficult clients at some point in their career. Knowing how to deal with this person can be tough. Whether you aren’t delivering to their expectations or they’re anxious about what you are doing, by following these five ideas you can be sure to have a smooth relationship. The day you sign a client could actually become the start of a wonderful and prosperous relationship!
It is up to you to convey to the client that you know exactly what you are doing. It’s your job to complete the task or job agreed and let the client know they are in good hands whilst doing so. A client will become very uncomfortable and anxious if they don’t understand exactly what you are doing and why. This could make them seem overbearing and picky when they are actually just passionate about the project and take their work seriously.
If you have a client like this, try taking a couple of hours to educate and inform them of the work you are doing for them. It could make all the difference.
2. Only Solutions, Not Problems
If you feel that a client is being difficult, take a step back and think. Maybe the client is not being difficult, maybe they are just raising a genuine problem with the work you are doing with them. Even if you don’t see the problem, you have to find a solution to put their mind at ease. It is your job to do so.
Counter any problems, and even those that you may think of as non-problems, with solutions. However simple or complex, the way you deal with it should be the same; efficiently and politely. Most importantly never let them think it was any trouble.
3. Pre-empt any issues
In a similar vein to the above, when dealing with any client you should always be aware. You should be able to recognize when and what a client may have an issue with. For example, if you are sending a monthly report and it isn’t as good as expected, offer an explanation of why this could be. Don’t wait for them to ask. You will seem on the ball and confident and they will be satisfied with the work. Everyone’s a winner.
Trust your instincts with this one. If you can see a potential problem they could raise then they probably will. Find a solution to this problem before it becomes one.
4. Keep in Contact
It’s important that you are in regular contact with your client. Regular updates about the work you’re doing and keeping them in the loop will go a long way into how comfortable the client feels. A client who is not informed about a key change or update in your company or work will become dissatisfied. As well as the usual contact regarding work, make extra time for face to face meetings if necessary. The first way to improve client relationships is to nurture them.
Remember, when dealing with any client it is vital to remain professional and polite at all times. They are paying for your service and you therefore have a duty to keep them satisfied.
5. Personality Clash
Sometimes the source of a bad client relationship could be as simple as a personality clash. It happens. There are too many people in the world for everyone to get on great. In the short term when dealing with this client, it is best to be polite, civil and professional. The longer term resolution would be to assign another member of staff to the client. This needn’t be obvious and awkward. You can simply say the change was due to internal adjustments.
At Ripley Training we offer a wide variety of courses to help you improve your customer service and personal skills. Learn more about dealing with difficult clients on our Communicating with Confidence and Personal Impact Course. If you need help dealing with unsatisfied customers our Handling Difficult Callers and People on Reception Desks Course will help you gain confidence and offer a better service.
We also offer bespoke training to suit any training needs you may have.