What does it take to have a successful business? Is it all about having a huge amount of capital? Is effective advertising and promotional activities the secret? Or does hiring surely qualified employees the solution to all business problems?
If you are just starting your enterprise, one thing you should expect—it is not that easy to reach the top. No matter how you have prepared for all the areas of your business, there are still some knowledge and skills that will only be acquired through experience. Actual business dealings are still the best professor of proper business administration.
The root of the usual problems that businesses encounter is dealing with clients. Though you may be the proud enterprise owner, there are still other people who are to be your boss and they are your customers or clients.
Dealing with clients can be best learned through actual experience of communicating and processing their orders. If you are having a hard time now in handling difficult clients, do not take it so badly because it is very normal, especially if you are still new in commerce. Sometimes, no matter how much your team tries to produce quality services, there are still those who are hard to please—and they can ruin your business if you do not deal with them properly.
Here are 7 important tips on how to deal with difficult customers and handle tough client situations.
1. Take instructions carefully
To avoid conflicts with clients, the first thing that you or your employees need to do is to be careful in taking instructions from your clients. Make sure that you keep a hard or soft copy of those instructions to serve as guide in work. If ever there are unclear instructions, do not be hesitant to ask questions for clarifications.
2. Have no room for negligence
Do you know what the usual reasons why clients get mad are? It is the negligence on the part of the enterprise. Of course, they have paid you for your service because they trust your business. They believe in the assurance of the good deal you have guaranteed them. Therefore, once they find out that you fail in fulfilling your promises, especially if it causes them hassle, you could expect of how they are going to react. For this reason, make sure that your management follows the clients’ instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.
3. Have commitment to time
This is actually connected to the previous number. Your business should avoid delays in turnaround time. Meaning, if you have told your clients that they will get their order in a day, be sure then to deliver it on or before that day ends. No matter how good the quality of your service or product is if it has been tainted with tardiness already, you will lose the trust of your clients. Though there may be others who can understand such circumstances, there are those who really value time commitment and they do not accept any excuse.
4. Keep records
There are those forgetful—or fault-finding clients—who would come back to you after receiving their orders and throw at your face how you or your employees made mistake. Therefore it is practical if you keep all important documents that record all the necessary instructions and transactions with your clients like receipts, contracts, and the like. In this way, whenever a client comes and complains about something, and you know the blame is not on your part, you can just show them those records for proofs.
5. Respect their right
No matter how pissed you are towards your clients, you should never lose patience with them. Do not argue even if you know you are right and they cannot see your point. Always remember that they are your customers, and as it is said, “Customers are always right.” Even if somehow this seems unfair because there are really circumstances when customers do get wrong, yet they have their right to demand and complain. Moreover, if you want to keep them, you would not want them to be mad at you or your enterprise so you better be courteous all the time even if you do not agree with them.
6. Be professional
Whatever the situation is, always show professionalism. This is actually related to the previous idea. Even if you are finding it difficult to deal with your clients and you are at the point of exploding, you need to stay calm, show a pleasing facial expression, and use a gentle or a calm tone of voice. Also, you should never expose your weakness to them just to get excused for something bad that has happened like, apologizing for late deliveries just because you have few workers to work on their orders. You would not get their sympathy but instead your business would lose their trust because they would realize that your enterprise is amateur in your market. Therefore, they would go somewhere else where they could be more assured of quality work.
7. Smile and be optimistic always
No matter what the condition is, even if a client is pouring out his demands and strict instructions, you and your employees should always smile. A smile is contagious and it can melt the heart of even those who are having a bad day. Never show worry or negative expressions even if the situation is actually bad so your clients would not panic or become more frustrated of your service. When they see that you and your employees are always cheerful and positive, they would get the impression that you really know what you are doing so in cases something not good has come out, they would still trust you.
If you want to keep your business running, you should know how to take care of your clients. It is them who make you earn your income, do not forget that. Therefore, no matter how annoying they are, you should still accommodate them well. Remember, if you drive them away because of your business’ unprofessionalism, you will not only lose them but even the potential clients because your name will be destroyed.
Image source: Call Me by Petr Kratochvil