The Best Advice for Dealing with Difficult Clients
Business isn’t always easy. You could have your first difficult client within the first month of business. Then again, maybe you won’t experience a difficult client until you’ve been in business for a year or more. Yet, at some point, you will have at least one difficult client. Regardless of how your business is doing financially, even one difficult client can be a big deal. Here’s the best advice for dealing with difficult clients.
Look at the Situation from the Perspective of Your Difficult Client
This is particularly important if your difficult client began the relationship and was easy to work with. Has something happened that changed how your client views you, your services, or your entire business model? Even a simple misunderstanding can ultimately leave a client feeling unsatisfied and unwilling to work with you (or to make your job easy). It’s important that all of your business policies are clear. The most common areas that cause clients to become dissatisfied include billing issues, changes in customer service policies, and clients who do not feel as if they are receiving proper care or updates from you.
If you entered into a business relationship with someone that you believe is difficult, you have to be willing to ask yourself one very important question. Are they really being difficult or are you just not able to cope with a client who has extremely high expectations? Consider your services and the client’s expectations. Are they unreasonable or are they demanding that you meet the criteria you set forth that won you the client’s business in the first place? If it’s the latter, you must make changes of your own in order to meet those expectations. If your client truly has unreasonable expectations, you must find a way to move forward and also explain to this client and other clients what they can expect.
Should You Fire Your Difficult Client?
All businesses would prefer to have fantastic relationships with each and every client that they ever have. However, that’s just not realistic. Should you fire your difficult client? Ultimately, the decision is yours, but here are some things to consider
- Go back again and look at the situation from the perspective of the client. Is there anything that you can do to salvage the relationship and begin to move it in the right direction?
- Are you putting enough time and attention into the services that you provide to the client? If your answer is no, that could be the reason why your client is being difficult.
- What portion of your income is tied to this client? Also, keep in mind that it is much easier to continue to sell your services to existing clients than it is to acquire a new client.
- How would firing your client affect your business? Consider all of the avenues that people have (and use) to talk about problems they have with a business. Could your business tolerate that sort of social media scrutiny? Always consider your online reputation.
Making the decision to fire a client is extremely serious. If you choose to end the relationship,, make sure that the client has received the services that they paid to receive. Choose how you will end the relationship with care. Always treat clients with dignity even if the two of you struggle to work well together.
Do You Need Help with Client Care?
If you believe that your client is unhappy because of a lack of client care and you just don’t have time to do it all, contact Clients ARM. We have more than 30 years of experience in managing client relationships. Your clients never have to call an outside number. We use technology and old fashioned customer service principles to take care of your clients. To learn how Clients ARM can help you improve client relationships, schedule your free consultation with our CEO. You’ll be glad that you did!