Every business will, at some point in its lifetime, face a difficult client. It can be difficult to stay positive and act professionally when faced with such difficult people. However, if you don’t deal with a challenging client properly, your reputation could be on the line.
Protecting your business can be hugely important in this sort of situation, therefore, if you want to keep your company operating optimally, even when faced with demanding customers, here are some tips.
Set Realistic Expectations for Clients
One of the most important things you can do when entering a new project is to manage client expectations to avoid misunderstandings or disputes later down the line. That should cover everything from your work deadlines and results to your own communications availability throughout the duration of the work.
Playing it safe with reasonable targets is always better. If a completion date has been agreed on, don’t be afraid of putting your foot down if the customer starts demanding that it be completed before the time you have agreed on, especially if the quality of the work or other customer commitments could be compromised.
Invest in Insurance
In case a customer was to slip and fall in your place of business, you could face legal consequences and end up paying huge sums in liability. This is why all businesses should have liability insurances. Some professionals, such as financial advisors and/or consultants, should also consider professional indemnity insurance to ensure that the business is protected if a customer accuses the owner of making a mistake or not staying true to a contract.
Have Clear Channels of Communication.
When things go wrong, then communication will play an important part in fixing problems. As you work to resolve a situation or find a workable solution, customers will feel more appreciated if you keep them updated every step of the way. Therefore, learn to communicate with your customers.
It is also worth talking to a customer face-to-face or over the phone, rather than only by email. You never know, this may help to prevent further confrontation. Getting a senior team member to connect will also help if things get out of hand. It signals the customer that serious attention is being paid to their issues.
Engage with Negative Reviewers
Since it also provides a great opportunity for feedback, a highly-negative review is not completely bad. Often a poor encounter with a company is not necessarily the fault of anyone, but instead the unfortunate result of bad timing.
Engaging the bad review and setting the record straight will help put your business in the clear.
Furthermore, you and your staff can learn from a bad review. Engaging with a customer who leaves such a review shows the customer that you have taken note of and are concerned about what they didn’t like. When you do this publically on a site in a response that is even better because anyone reading the review also reads what you were prepared to do about it.
Everyone will be faced with a troublesome client or customer at some stage in their business, however, by adopting the suggestions above, with luck, you’ll be able to resolve any problems before they escalate out of control and best protect your reputation and your business.