Stop Stressin’ Me Out! 4 Ways to Handle Tough, Finicky Clients
“No! Your team doesn’t understand what I want!”
“Great. Can you create a banner out of my Facebook display picture?”
“Can you make this cartoon look realistic? I want it to be like a photograph!”
Time and time again, we hear the phrase, “The customer is always right.” But that doesn’t mean every customer is easy to deal with.
As an entrepreneur, you already know that your clients are one of your great assets. Without them, your business would cease to exist.
And while not every client is tough and finicky, every once in a while you’ll come across one who’ll drive you up the wall.
But to stay in business, you have to master the art of handling stressful clients. Read on to learn about how can improve your customer service and retain clients:
Listen to Clients
When you’re talking to the client, listen to what they have to say. Don’t argue with them or interrupt them. Even if you know what they’re going to say next, let them say it.
This will show that you genuinely care about their concerns. Remember that your clients have a vision for their brand just like you have one for yours.
Don’t dismiss their concerns. This will leave a bad impression on their mind. Take this scenario as an example:
You already know that this conversation is not going to end well. Instead, practice reflective listening. This technique can help you get a better understanding of what the client is trying to say.
Repeat what you’ve understood in the form of a question. For example:
If you’ve understood what the client is trying to say, move on and offer them a solution (if there is one). If not, ask them to elaborate.
Remember not to make any promises regarding solutions. Instead, make it a goal to offer your best services to your clients. Focus on making sure your clients feel valued and appreciated.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you were in their situation, how would you have reacted? Think about what you would’ve done. If you can empathize with a client and look at things from their perspective, it can help you get a better understanding of their way of thinking.
In addition, it’ll help you come up with better solutions and suggestions. This will also help calm an angry client down. Most of the time, angry clients want somebody who understands their situation. They want somebody who can validate their feelings.
Some clients are skeptical because they’ve had bad experience in the past. Instead of dismissing their concerns, ask them how you can make their experience with your company better.
Ask them questions to gain insight into their way of thinking.
- “Can you please help us understand why you’re skeptical about our services?”
- “What can we do to relieve those fears?”
- “How can we make you more comfortable?”
Sometimes clients make illogical decisions or react a certain way because of the fear that they won’t achieve their end goals. Ensure them that you’ll do your best to make sure to address all their concerns.
As mentioned previously, avoid making unrealistic promises. Instead, set goals.
You’ll come across clients that will behave unprofessionally. They will threaten you and raise their voice. But make sure to remain calm no matter what. Don’t lose your temper.
Talk to them in a calm manner. Remember that you need to behave professionally even if your clients aren’t. When an angry client sees that their behavior isn’t affecting you, they’ll eventually calm down.
The aim is to dissipate their anger so you can come up with a feasible solution. After they have calmed down, make sure to set boundaries. Let them know that you understand they’re angry but you would like to handle the matter professionally.
Don’t Take Things Personally
Don’t take things personally even if the client gets personal. The customer does not know you personally. He/she is venting his/her frustration because of the problem they’re having.
It’s easier said than done but ignoring personal comments and jabs will help deescalate the situation.
Keep in mind that your clients are also people and people have bad days. Chalk it up to them having a stressful day. This doesn’t mean they have the right to take it out on your team. But once they are calm, make sure to address the issue.
Be tactful and professional. If you feel this is a matter that can’t be dealt with over the phone, send an email instead. This will also allow you to think things through and be careful with your words. Just make sure you don’t write anything that can be used against your company later on.
Take time if you need to calm down before addressing concerns with finicky clients. Keep in mind that anger is natural. Your client may be trying to take control of the situation because they feel undervalued.
If they’re angry, give them time to calm down before offering solutions. This will allow them to properly analyze the solutions you’re offering and pick the one that fits their needs.
Makarand Utpat is a digital marketing strategist and consultant. Having offered a wide range of solutions to businesses from all sectors, he is also an established author of several digital marketing books and has been featured on TV channels like the NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX.
If you’re looking for a consultant and digital marketing strategist, he’s got everything you need!
Feel free to reach out to him and book an appointment today!