We all know the famous phrase “the customer is always right,” coined in 1909 by businessman Harry Gordon. It is clear that having a good relationship with your client is essential, but it is not always easy. As entrepreneurs or professionals, we know that the guiding principle of marketing is to satisfy 100% of the customer’s needs, but does it always have to be this way?
It is essential to be clear that confronting him is not an option, even if your client is wrong. Therefore, you must adopt a conciliatory and decisive attitude. Each incident or problem with your client will have different characteristics and responsibilities. Identifying the situations in which your client is not suitable will be helpful for these reasons:
You do not have infinite resources: Your time, energy, and money are not unlimited. If, although you have tried to satisfy your client’s complaint in the best possible way, he is still unhappy, you may have to stop trying to help him. Entering into a dynamic of this type will only make your customer service more expensive.
Staff-customer relationship: Assuming the customer is always proper pits your worker squarely against the buyer. This always implies a clear advantage for the client, whether correct or not, which can generate frustration in the employee and harm his work.
Some clients are expensive: Keeping clients who, far from making a disbursement in our business, only abuse our willingness to settle their claims is not worth it.
To deal with a client in an exceptional situation and not cause defaults, consumer complaints, or bad references, you have to know how to recognize which profile they correspond to. We mainly highlight two:
Toxic or abusive customer
The toxic or abusive client is one of the worst for the self-employed because they dominate your work activity and if you are not careful, even your personal life. He is the one who causes problems with payments, and he has a dominant profile; he comes to you with false urgencies and does not respect your schedules. The most advisable thing is patience and a lot of left-hands.
A client who does not know what he wants
This is the client who does not have a definite idea of what he wants or needs, which can bring you more than one headache when it comes to delivering a project or providing a service. In these cases, the client is almost always dissatisfied.
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Both profiles are made up of unprofitable clients. Keep in mind that, although the success of your business lies in the number of customers, many of them can make you lose money, which is not in your best interest.
How to deal with a customer complaint
A conciliatory and decisive attitude in this type of situation is critical. When faced with a customer claim, whether or not they are correct, it is convenient to follow a protocol:
Calm attitude: The first of the keys to dealing with a customer complaint is to remain calm. When faced with a complaint from a client, many freelancers show a defensive attitude that makes them lose all credibility and thereby agree with the client, even if he does not.
Active listening: show interest in what the client tells you and ask the necessary questions to understand their situation. With an empathic attitude, you will be able to relax your mood.
Try to convince if the client is wrong: making the client see that he is wrong is a delicate action that requires tact. Avoid words like “no,” “but,” and ultimately those that involve negativity and confrontation. Of course, don’t even think about telling him that he is wrong and offering alternative solutions to the ones he proposes. If, after all, it persists, he stops trying.
The ideal is to avoid giving rise to any complaint or claim by a wrong client. For this, the most recommended is:
Offer detailed information about your products and services from the first moment. Transparency is the best weapon to avoid future claims.
Acceptance of terms and conditions. This section reflects the customer’s agreement and adherence to the contract. Therefore, if the client’s claim contradicts what was agreed, it will not be invalid before legal action.
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