This article has been contributed by Preston Pierce.
A frustrated client is like a fire that will burn you, if you show lack of care in handling it. To put out this fire, just saying “we are sorry for the inconvenience” won’t suffice; you need to offer much more. Here’s how.
Having an unhappy client once in a while is not all that bad.
After all, “Your most unhappy customer is your greatest source of learning”.
Still, you cannot leave it like that. If you mishandle the situation even a bit, then it would cost you not only a few bucks but some future prospects as well.
Since you can’t elude the clutches of a tough client given that he’s ‘the main source of revenue’, you can, definitely, purge his complaints and frustrations by handling the situation in a purely professional manner.
How would you do that? You may wonder. Read on to learn how to successfully manage & deal with angry customers and retain their loyalty.
1. Keep Calm and Listen On and On
It is a fact that you can’t control yourself when your emotions are highly elevated. Therefore, it is foolish to expect others to lid their raging sentiments, especially when they have something at stake, i.e., money.
Remain calm and allow your client to vent out all his explosive emotions, until there’s nothing left to explode. Once you see them run out of juice, throw yourself in and calm them up with a reassuring response.
As King Lear said to the Earl of Kent, “Come not between the dragon and his wrath”.
Remember that if you try to cut in while he’s erupting anger, you might end up getting yourself burned (by his wrath). Hence, focus on listening carefully and acting professionally, and don’t lose your composure at all.
2. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
The best way you can understand someone’s problems is by seeing things from his perspective. By looking at things from others’ point of views and showing concern for them, you let them know that you genuinely care.
Tell your client that ‘I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience. And, I’ve a perfect solution that would solve the issues you are facing’, or ‘You sound a bit angry and I’m sure I’d be too if I were in your place. I’m terribly sorry for that and I’m sure we could solve this problem in a jiffy’. Consequently, this should put out the tiger-footed rage of your client, calm him down and rekindle his trust in you and your services.
3. Demonstrate Your Utmost Patience
Patience is the key to a great customer support, you can’t deny it. Patience allows you to calmly listen to your client and focus on their issue attentively. Most importantly, you would be able to stick to the aforementioned practices only when you show some patience.
Therefore, if you want to make up to your client and make them feel at ease, you need to be patient while dealing with them, or their anger. Even if they keep hitting you with harsh complaints, no matter what justification you present, be patient and keep reiterating your empathy.
4. Communicate & Identify the Issue
Remember that your customer didn’t come to you for complaining. They came to you for your assistance and to get a solution that would resolve their problems fast. So, after they calm down, reassure them that you’ve clearly heard and understood them.
Try to get to the root of the problem by extracting more details from the client. For instance, ‘what were the inconsistencies in your design?’, ‘Did we fail to follow your specifications/requirements?’, or ‘What were you expecting how the logo/brand identity should appear?’
Exploring the problem won’t only help you show the client that you are, genuinely, listening to his problem by asking key details, but it will also help you pin point the exact cause and thus formulate a solution.
5. Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse
Once you’ve grabbed the problem by its neck, propose a productive solution that would not only satisfy your enraged client but also give them a reason why they should turn back to you for your future business needs.
Reassure the client that the solution you are offering is realistic and it’d efficiently solve all the issues. Inform the client about the measures you took to deal with the problem. And after resolving the issue, reassure him that the problem is taken care of, the changes you’ve asked has been made precisely as per your expectations, and you won’t find this problem reoccur again in future.
6. Don’t Shy Away From Following Up
To ensure the satisfaction of your client and earn back their lost trust, follow up with them after a day or two. By the time you give then a follow up call, they would be already calmed down and most likely happy with the proposed solution.
Remember that following up with your clients demonstrate your consideration and care towards clients’ satisfaction. It shows your individual care towards them, and makes them feel special. As a result, you get to win over their respect again and fortify their retention.
So, there we have some necessary mantras to help you with handling frustrated clients and earning their trust. Tell us, what tactics you use to deal with your frustrated customer?
Preston Pierce is a marketing professional and blogger who works for Logo Ping, a custom logo design service provider based in UK. You can follow him on Twitter where he shares articles related to design, business and marketing.