The Tentmakers

Dealing With Difficult Clients

Good day. How are you doing?

I’ll like to talk about dealing with difficult customers/clients today.

If you own a business, you NEED a steady flow of customers/clients for the business to survive. (Un)fortunately, difficult people are very likely to be part of the mix. As your career progresses, you are also most likely to interact with client representatives, some of whom may prove difficult at some point.I’ll share some tips I picked from an article I found on the Business Know-How website.

1. Listen, without interrupting, to their concern. When they are done speaking, recap and if necessary, ask questions to help you clarify the real issue.
2. If you are communicating with the difficult customer/client using electronic media, don’t respond immediately. Give yourself some time to analyze and understand what is really going on so that you don’t send a hasty response that you’ll ultimately regret.

3. Instead of reacting emotionally when your work is criticised harshly, use the opportunity to learn areas where you could improve. As I was dealing with a difficult client representative, I realised that a major issue was that I wasn’t communicating the way he preferred. I have changed my mode of communication to suit his style and we’re having less conflicts.
4. Whenever there are cost implications involved, I think it’s best to involve your manager (for those in paid employment). Don’t agree to take the loss before discussing with your manager. Leave that decision to your manager, please.
5. If you are self-employed, you need to do a cost-benefit analysis before deciding whether to absorb the cost of rework/scope creep or to ask for more money to address that concern. Taking the right decision in situations like this may very well determine how long you’ll stay in business.

Please share your views and experiences

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