Prevention is better than cure – Fits in Consulting service too
As a consultant, you must continuously strive to make the client understand the causes for your refusal of his unyielding requirement. Let him know that you will not serve wrong things on the consultancy platter just for the sake of a few bucks in the pocket. Also, try to make them understand that you have a genuine care for the success of the business. Again, try to make your client understand your point of view.
Hopefully, they will understand that you really want them to do well and that the success of the business means more than just a business to you.
Business Consultation – Handling tough client reactions
Are you going to outburst the bad news after agreeing to the undesired consultancy that you have given to your client? Then, most commonly, expect 2 reactions for sure. Let me tell you we have dealt with both.
The first reaction – Client will either get angry, shout or scream, or would say that it’s solely blundered by you.
The second reaction is that the client calls you & let you know what are the solutions to the problem. They are now ready to listen to you by trusting the facts because you have already warned them beforehand regarding final results.
Yes, these clients also exist, & we were very fortunate we had such an understanding client whom we serve till now. They have now turned into our lifetime clients from being just a retainer. They have even provided genuine feedback & testimonials that we have preserved on our website as motivational thoughts.
We are blessed that we have got to this spot, not just for one or two times but multiple times. After dealing with several tough & difficult clients, we accept this very fact that grabbing this stage of honesty with a client is a rare share, but it’s a great place to be.
Difficult Client handling | If I do this, will you be happy?
Recall this scenario: You & your team work hard. You believed that this time the client is going to be happy and will appreciate the efforts. But guess what, he lets you know that he is disappointed over the invoice billing email!
Very annoying! right? But, how to prevent such situations?
Create a plan consisting of all the task you are going to finish & deliver, show it to the client & ask –
Will you be happy if I deliver them all at the end of this month? If clients say no, my friend, you have a bigger problem. But if he says certainly, then only promise things like documents and meetings but the final results as they are not under one’s control, no matter how much effort you put in.
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Handling a tough client? Try these proven saviour methods
1. Learn the art of positive body language| Practice active listening
While your customer is complaining & is full of anger – you need not interrupt them in between & let them talk! Hear them out & empathise with what they have to say with the right attitude, nice tone & positive body language. This art will help you as the customer feels that they have been heard seriously. And when you will respond with a lot of empathy with some strong statements such as “Dear Customer, We regret the inconvenience you had. Let us help you fix the problem areas.” will drastically help you in reducing your customer anger levels. You will notice that sometimes only hearing patiently can help you deal efficiently with the angry customer.
2. Communicate on both the options that you can or cannot do
So, after hearing the complete situation, now it’s the time to let your customer know what all can you offer as a service to help them come out of the current situation. To do this, ask certain questions to clarify things you need to know in order to better serve your customer.
Understand that there is always ‘something’ that you can do. Therefore, it is highly recommended to not say affirmations that can blow out your customer’s anger level the minute they hear it. Hence, to avoid worsening the critical situations avoid saying – “I can’t do anything” but say “Here are the options that I can offer you and let me know what else I can do for you?” Then decide how to move forward with the solution mutually.
3. Act fast on the Promised Service as a Solution
It is highly recommended that you should provide promised or compensated service as soon as possible. It will do 2 things for you. First, if you address your customers concerns quickly, the complaint will not escalate further. Secondly, the customer will always remember you lightning speed solutions & might end up being a loyal customer. They may refer your services to their known ones with a positive remark.
4. Documentation & MOM – Minutes of meetings
A piece of very important evidence that plays a crucial role in the life of a consultant is documenting everything & keeping a complete record of all the conversations that include basics as well. After you have done a phone call or a meeting, generate a report and details that were shared in the conversation & send it to your client to keep a record of main points discussed during the talk.
I know it is a time consuming rather a thankless effort but believe me it can turn out to be your biggest evidence of saving a client’s record of events that ever took place.
5. Provide valuable monthly reports
Generating monthly reports on your value addition to client’s business is a tedious task to do. But it is a prevention phase. How?
Let me explain with an example where I have been in a tough scenario. Once a client sent me an angry email asking questions on the results from that month; Thank god I had analytics & insights reports with me which I showed him. He was amazed at the results and apologised for his lack of awareness about going so well. His response was, “That’s great, I had not even thought that we could do so well. Hence, you know now the power of monthly reporting to clients.
6. You can’t win an argument! Can you?
Well, not just in business but in general life as well, my first tip in resolving a conflict with a client is not to argue because you’ll never win. But if you believe that you can win & prove your client wrong. What happens next? You will lose the contract as a result. So, think wisely & then decide.
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While these tips might be useful, sometimes nothing works out in that case you should just know when it’s time to say goodbye. Sometimes, there are some factors which do not lead to a successful engagement with some clients. But you must understand it is very important to bid goodbye on good terms.
Because you never know the future may hold an opportunity for you again to become a solution provider for this particular client. I hope this blog has helped you and I would have added some value addition in dealing with a tough & challenging client. We will soon come up with more such business blogs.
These were some of my tips associated with my clientele journey. What are your take-ups when you deal with a challenging client? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. In case you need help, connect with us here.
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