C. Listen. Access . Take action. Listening is key to making an unhappy client, happy. Truthfully, you can’t rectify a situation if you’re not willing to listen. And at this time it’s important to be really honest and decide if this is one of those situations that you can actually make better or not. If you can make it better then it’s a good idea to figure out how you’re going to make things right. So in other words you need a plan. I’m a big fan of lists. In this case it becomes a matter of what’s working in the project and what isn’t. Why isn’t it working? What changes can you make? Is it a matter of working harder or smarter ? Ask the client for input, after all they have a vested interest in the project. Sometimes the client knows something that you don’t or has insight that may help. For me, the death nell of any account is lack of input from the client. I always insist that a client give me regular updates on any appointment (that I set) they go on. Ask the client,” what can I do to make this right”. “What would you like to see happen realistically?” “ Can we put our heads together to see what kind of solution we can come up with?“ Staying in touch and in sync with your client becomes more important than ever at this time. There is nothing more jarring than finding out months into a project that the client isn’t happy with some aspect of it. So communication with your client is key.
D. Let go. You’re done. When you reach a certain age and point in life you realize that you can’t sweat the small stuff. Really. Dealing with an irate and unhappy client is painful enough without beating yourself up for whatever mistake you may or may not have made. I’m not saying not to try to save the account. Far from it. But there comes a time when it’s impossible to save it. Every company in the world whether it’s IBM or IB Food Mart occasionally deals with a difficult customer. That’s the way business is sometimes. Business is like dating. Sometimes you make a connection that can last years, has it’s ups and downs but is ultimately satisfying and rewarding. Other times you can be with someone and it seems like a good idea at the time but it just isn’t a good fit. It is in those times that you need to do everything you can to make it work while being astute enough to know when it isn’t working and let go of the situation. It’s the business equivalent of “ just not being into you.”
E. Clients sometimes like to yell -so breathe. Not reacting to an irate customers tirade takes a lot of patience. Most customers want two things….
1. They want you to listen to the problem.
2. They want a solution