Over five years of TBLC, you bet I’ve had my share of unhappy clients. While such experiences leave me feeling weird in my stomach, they’re also very pivotal in my journey as a Creative Biz Owner.
Before I jump into showing you ways to salvage such situations, let me tell you two reasons why it’s important to help upset customers, more so when you’re in the initial years of having found the company -
By communicating politely and coming to a resolution that works for both of you, you will create a smooth client experience which will in turn ensures continued business with them in the future.
Solving the problem might show you how to fix an issue in the company to prevent this from happening again and thereby improve your own work process.
Most importantly, always remember people work with people so you want to be able to create an experience that makes your clients want to come back to you.
Here are a few things you wanna keep in mind -
To begin with, set the right expectations and communicate clearly - It’s essential that you don’t overpromise and under deliver, sometimes when we’re talking to a client - we tend to get carried away in the conversation and end up promising things that may not be possible, are out of your area of expertise or may just simply be costing us extra time, effort and money. See what happens there? We raise their expectations and don’t deliver accordingly which makes our offering and the overall experience hollow. Secondly, you want to ensure that you have very clearly communicated to your client the services that you're providing, this may also mean that you have to simplify certain terminologies and processes to their understanding.
Mindset matters - It’s very natural to have a tendency to think that the situation isn’t your fault which may result in you getting defensive. It’s essential to avoid the blame game and think of a solution together.
Acknowledge their distress - Before you can proceed and figure out a way forward, ensure you can acknowledge their feelings. You can simply do that by saying"I'm sorry for the inconvenience you've experienced"
Aim to find the right solution - The right solution could look like a lot of things - apologizing, issuing a refund, sending a replacement for a damaged product or sometimes it can mean putting your foot down and not being so accommodating because the client is taking you for a ride. Always aim to find the most fair solution which would be respectful to you and your client.
Learn from this experience - Whatever the solution may be, don't take it personally and build resentment. Every scenario, no matter how unfair it may seem, can lead to bettering your client experience and skills as a business owner if you allow it to
Here are a few things that have helped me in the last few years, let me know if there's anything else you've adopted that has worked wonders for you!