Resolving Client Issues

In any industry, working with clients means you need to be well versed in resolving client issues. Clients can be unpredictable, especially if there hasn’t been clear communication of expectations from the start of a working relationship. Here are some strategies to get your client relationships back on track if something goes south. Client issues will always arise but you can maintain your business relationship and good reputation by following these steps.

Prevent a Problem

The best course resolving client issues is preventing one from occurring in the first place! It’s important to keep our clients happy and the best way to do so is open communication. Ask your client if they are satisfied with your work. Many clients will have trepidation from the onset but struggle to voice their concerns. If you address their uncertainties first it will help prevent future issues, avoid wasting time and re-doing work.

Active Listening

Despite our best efforts, client issues will still arise. When they do, it can be difficult to keep composure in the face of harsh or unfair criticism. Take a deep breath, and put your customer service hat on. Your client wants their issues to be heard; actively listen, ask for clarification, understand the problem. Show your client that you value their opinions and feedback.

Don’t Apologize (unless you were wrong)

Saying sorry is extremely important, if you mean it. Make sure that if you are at fault for the issue at hand you own up to the mistake and apologize sincerely. If you aren’t at fault don’t offer your client an empty apology; they will be able to tell. This could escalate an already uncomfortable situation for you both. Instead, focus on the next step.

Suggest a Resolution

No one wants to re-do work or work for free. Your client might ask that of you. Instead of telling you client what you can’t or won’t do, use positives and tell them what you can and will do. Show them that coming to a resolution is your priority, and you’ll find a mutually beneficial solution to the issue.

Resolving client issues is definitely the least fun part of our work, what strategies have you found effective when negotiating with less than satisfied clients?

 

By Kailey Lewis

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