What to Do When a Client is Angry
It’s happened. One of your clients is upset. Maybe it was a mistake you made or perhaps the situation was completely out of your control. Does it matter? The client doesn’t think so. All they care about is how you’re going to fix it. How you handle bad situations is going to determine whether your client will decide to continue giving you their business. According to CustomerThink writer Steve DiGioia, here are a few solid methods to win over an upset client.
First off, make sure your client can easily get ahold of you. If you’re difficult to reach or aren’t actively responsive, your client will quickly escalate from upset to livid. Learning about the problem is the first step to fixing it. You need to be able to learn about the problem as quickly as possible in order to solve it in a timely manner. Then, open communication during the fixing process can help soothe the client. Finally, immediate outreach once the problem is solved will give the client less time to stew. Don’t keep your client guessing about whether you’re fixing the problem or what you’re doing. Tell them.
Let your client vent to you. Chances are, their frustrations about the situation will take the form of words. Possibly harsh ones. Directed at you. Instead of throwing up your mental shields and partially zoning out to weather the emotional storm, actually listen to what the client has to say. They may be telling you exactly how to get back into their good graces.
Thank them. At the end of all of this, there will be a number of things to thank the client for. One, that they reached out to you with their problems instead of trying to fix everything themselves. Two, for being patient with you during the fixing process. Three, that they still trust you with their business. A lot of salespeople will make excuses and then try to sweep the problem under the rug as soon as it’s solved. Don’t. Own up to the error and show that you recognize the value of your client’s business and the second chance they are giving you.