Dealing with difficult client situations

Dealing with difficult client situations 


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Hello There! 

We have all been there. You worked your ass off,  replied every email in a timely fashion, catered to the client’s needs, went the extra mile, you are feeling really good like “I got this” them you get an email. POOF! There goes your sense of relaxation.

Today, I am touching on dealing with a difficult situation and by situation I mean difficult client. We work in the service industry which means the goal is to service the client. It's not about you!  Our job is to cater to our client’s needs and give them the very best of us and our services. 

It’s important to remember that all clients are not the same. You may have 20 clients that are absolutely fantastic and 1 that you just can't seem to please no matter what you do. We don't want it or ask for it but conflict is a part of doing business. What will make or break your business and client relationships is how you react while under these trying and uncomfortable situations.

As a wedding planner, I can relate. VERY WELL!!! . It’s a tough spot to find yourself but I want to share some of the ways you can manage these situations.  

Don't take it personal:

I can hear you screaming BULLSHIT!! How could we not? This is your baby! All true but you have to train yourself to not take it personal.  It's just how business goes. Easier said than done. I know!! but if you don't master this, you will go crazy.  

Remain professional:

You must remain professional and collected at all times. Never lose your cool or exchange words. 

Don't avoid them:

You may think, if I ignore these emails and calls, maybe the issue will go away. 9 times out of 10, it will escalate to something event worse than the original issue. Deal with these situations as they arise. Be the expert. 

Listen:

Listen and acknowledge their position and work towards a solution. Sometimes all the client needs is for them to know you acknowledged their issue. They want to know that you hear them. Rarely will the apology come from the client so you sometimes have to listen.

Try to resolve the issue: Solutions! Solutions!

Arguing back and forth with a client is just plain unproductive and will lead to more frustration on both ends. Figure out a solution and don't dwell on the issue. 

This too shall pass:

I know that at the moment there is conflict, you feel like crap and you are questioning yourself as a business owner and life in general. You did everything right and it just wasn’t enough. Just keep in mind that the period of hurt and doubt (which may feel like eternity) will pass. So hang in there! 

Know when its time to part ways:

Working weddings and other creative businesses is based on trust and personality fits. Sometimes, some business relationships are not a good fit. When all else has failed, you are so emotional drained and there is  is no resolutions, that client is no longer worth the revenue. It may be best to cut your losses, take your lessons from the situation and move on.

 Know when to draw the line:

There comes a time when you have to stand your ground. Owning a business and providing excellent customer service doesn't mean abuse. Abuse should never be tolerated.  

Leave a comment and share any difficult situations you may have encountered and how you handled it.  

Until the next blog, hold on to these wise words from Bill Gates “ Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

xx

Akeshi