Providing Excellent Customer Service To Less Than Perfect Clients
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Last week, we read some valuable tips for communicating effectively with your clients. But how do you handle it when your client is unreasonable, argumentative, or even abusive? Hopefully you’ll never be in that situation, but study the ideas in today’s post and you’ll be prepared if and when it happens.
Customer service is one of the most important attributes of a business, as it can single handedly determine the reputation of your company. Although ensuring your clients are fully satisfied with your service is part of the job, it can be difficult when faced with nightmare clients who come with ridiculous demands or bad attitudes.
Difficult clients can’t be avoided, but you can be sure they are left with little reason to negatively affect your business. When faced with less than perfect clients you must learn how to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive and profitable one for your business.
Happy customers should be your #1 priority.
The Customer is (almost) Always Right
The old adage that a customer is always right still rings true, and you should do everything you can to be sure your customers leave happy with the service your business provided. When dealing with angry or difficult to please clients there a few ways to make the process go more smoothly.
- Listen. Arguing with your customer will only make a situation worse. Listen to what they have to say before you respond. If they yell, don’t yell back. Calmly try to solve their issues with patience and a genuine desire to make the customer happy.
- Compromise. There are situations when giving in to the customer’s demands or needs has a lower risk than ignoring them and chancing negative repercussions. Obviously you should know your limits, and don’t give a customer anything that will only hurt your business in the end. Usually these types of situations are a one-off and happen rarely enough that they will have little effect on anything but your sanity.
- Say goodbye. While you should do everything you can to make sure your customers have a pleasant experience, sometimes enough is enough. When you have a client who is a abusing your good will or is using verbally abusive behavior, it may be time to cut your losses and say goodbye to the customer. There are several websites that allow you to report customers who are a bad asset to small businesses everywhere.
How you handle a client’s bad behavior may affect your reputation.
Never lose your cool.
Most of the time customer service is extremely rewarding, and making your clients happy is undoubtedly a great part of the job. Patience can take you far when dealing with clients who are unreasonable, and can often times totally turn the situation around. Don’t be afraid to apologize, especially if it will solve the problem. Egos and customer service don’t combine well, so it is important to leave yours at the office door. If the stress begins to get to you, take a break or ask a colleague for help.
Patience will reap enormous benefits.
If your work takes you into your client’s home it can be more difficult to stand your ground. If you listen, learn when to compromise, and stay patient, most of your dealings will turn out well. As long as you always look at the long-term and realize that your customer’s happiness is directly linked to your company’s future, dealing with more difficult clients will be easier and less painful.
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