Landing new clients is tough but keeping them 100% happy all the time is even tougher. If you have just started out your business and are selling a service, you are bound to come across situations eventually where a client is less than thrilled with your service. If you are the type who feels uncomfortable in confrontational situations, and if this is the first time this has happened, you are bound to feel irritated or angry for having to justify your work or your stance. However, learning to deal with unhappy clients is a maturation phase for every woman entrepreneur. Here is what you need to learn and to do:
Do the Spade Work before Starting a Project
In most cases, a client’s dissatisfaction is the result of miscommunication or a mismatch of expectations from either side. Therefore, communicate clearly with your client at the start of the project in order to understand what he/she is looking for. Try to quantify the expectations in form of milestones and deadlines. Get things in writing and share them mutually.
Resist the client’s attempt to break off communication when he/she is angry. Keep talking to him/her in order to pinpoint the real reason behind the anger. Start out with a neutral statement such as “Let’s talk about this! Let’s go over what has happened and see where the problem is.” Don’t adopt a confrontational statement like: “It’s not my fault!” The impression that you are listening is usually enough to cool down an irritated and angry client and engage in negotiation.
Find Out the Reason
Sometimes the client is unhappy with the customer care service and not the service itself, such as a delay in communication, a missed milestone. If you or someone on your team have messed up somehow or missed a deadline, accept the responsibility and own the mistake. Don’t try to shift the blame or pretend that nothing is wrong. Find out which aspect of the project is causing the problem.
Offer a Solution or Make Amends
Offer to rectify the mistake immediately. If it is too late and fixing the mistake won’t help the client, and then be willing to make amends. It can be a full refund, a small gift or a free service offer. An angry client may make you feel that it won’t make a difference but it will make an impact in the retrospect.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Every mistake gives you a chance to learn and grow as a business. For instance, when a project doesn’t go well, you may realize that the unsatisfied client might not be the right fit for your business or service to begin with, and the problem was thus inevitable. Or you may realize that the expectations were misunderstood. Thus, you learn that you need to screen your clients in a better way instead of saying yes to everyone or everything.
If a dissatisfied or angry client still chooses to walk away, let it be. It is not the end of the world. Remember the reason why you are in the business; it is to do what you do best and not just to please people.
I am Luci McMonagle, the Abundance Breakthrough Coach. I can help you unlock the power of words so you can communicate with your clients better. Get in touch with me today!