Dealing with clients can be a great pleasurable experience or a total nightmare especially if you are providing website services. We humans have a tendency to create conflict and argument. Sometimes the argument is valid and sometimes it a simple miscommunication or misunderstanding that will cause it. What we cannot ignore is that in our professional life we will always have to deal with clients that are rude, unreasonable, aggressive, offensive and hard to deal with but we have to deal with them anyways. Here are some tips to deal with bad clients.
Don\’t be a Yes Man, Say No for a change
It is very important when dealing with clients that are not easy to go with and cause trouble that you don\’t agree with them on everything. You have to say No at some point when you feel that what client is asking for or complaining about is unreasonable. Gather the courage to say No to a client firmly and in a polite manner. If you keep saying Yes you will end up being the guilty party even if you are not.
Don’t take it personal
This is easier said than done but you should start practicing it. You should practice this at home and in the office as well. You should keep reminding during the insults or accusations that the client will be throwing at you that you are not the real cause of his outrage. Most clients react in a bad way because they do not get the service what they were expecting or the results that were promised. Keep in mind that some clients do keep an unreasonable expectations from the service which they are paying for, or they might have misunderstood something, or there has been a misunderstanding. You should focus on the client and the issue at hand not on your self. After the conversation it is recommended that you take some alone time, go for a walk, breath fresh air and clear your mind.
Focus on the real issue
During an argument most people have the tendency to move away from the real conversation or the issue. It is your job as a professional to keep the conversation, argument structured, fruitful and remain on the real issue at hand. If the client is going away from the issue you can gently say “coming back to the point” and continue your discussion.
Show empathy with the client
This part needs a big heart, sometimes the clients are unreasonable and complaining about something that can be resolved easily. You should show empathy with the client and make sure they believe and feel that you have understood what they are feeling and share their worry or pain. The client can be wrong or right but you should show them the human side of business which will make your life much easier.
Be a Professional
An amateur person will get offended and react to what the client is saying or doing, begin a professional one educates the client not offends them or picks a fight with them. Most of the clients are not aware of the technicalities and do not have the in depth knowledge of the business and get upset with something that is not working for them. You need to educate them in a polite, compassionate and empathetic manner so they will listen to you. Make sure you let them know that what they do not know is absolutely normal and you will get them up to speed in no time.
Walk in the Client\’s Shoes
It can be very helpful for you to understand the viewpoint of the client when you imagine yourself in the client\’s shoes. You will have a better understanding of the client’s background and the thought process. You can never feel what the client is going through but it will definitely help you in understanding the client’s needs and worries.
While talking to a client or being in an argument never step back from the position that you have taken if the client is wrong or is unreasonable. You have to be polite, keep your voice level down but stay firm on the position that you are defending. Some clients take advantage of the fact that the person they are dealing with will go back from his/her position and agree to whatever the client will throw at them. It is necessary to stick to your guns if you know you are right and the client is asking or arguing about is totally false.
Remain on Written communication
In business or personal life it is always safe to have everything in communication to be written and in tangible form. You can always revert back to something that was said or agreed upon in written form. Some projects might go for 1 to 3 months or even in years and you cannot remember everything about the client. It is always a safe and professional way to keep everything in written format and take approval from the client on each and every change or request. This will save you from many situations that one can find him or herself in while dealing with clients.
There is no perfect solution in dealing with bad clients, we are humans and it\’s in our nature to have a conflict. What you can do is prepare yourself to take the pressure in dealing with situations that can test your professional as well as personal abilities. Combination of the above advises can surely help you in dealing with bad, rude and unreasonable clients. Remember all client as your portfolio after you have successfully delivered the project or service. At the end remember it’s not practice that makes a man perfect but a perfect practice that makes a man perfect.