How do you deal with a difficult client?
Client relationship and people management are important in transacting business and getting profit even with a difficult client.
Hence, we will share with you some tips on how to deal with a difficult client.
If you’ve had issues dealing with difficult clients in the past, stay glued to this post as we’ll uncover some effective strategies for dealing with difficult clients in your business.
How To Deal With A Difficult Client
Here are some tips on how to handle difficult clients.
1. Mind What you Say
Words are powerful.
Depending on how you use them, they could make things better or intensify the conflict.
Hence it’s best to use our words cautiously when dealing with difficult clients.
Sometimes, we might unknowingly provoke our clients with what we say.
Words like “I will attend to you when I am less busy” might stir up anger.
Whereas words like “I understand your point, sir but….” can foster mutual understanding and prove to the client that you’re listening to them and care about their needs.
As the saying goes, “two wrongs can not make a right.”
Therefore, when engaging with a difficult client, be mindful of the words you use, even if the client is throwing around harsh words.
You stand a better chance of resolving the conflict if you use words that show understanding instead of resentment.
2. Use Soothing Words/Phrases to Control your Emotions
When dealing with a difficult client, there’s bound to be heated emotions.
Some clients could use demeaning and derogatory words to make you lose your cool if you’re not careful.
To avoid this, use some soothing words that could calm your emotions when a difficult client is confronting you.
Words like; “From my little experience,” “it’s not about me,” etc., could help you keep calm, gather your thoughts, and come up with the right response to the client’s statements.
Overall, it would help you not take any harsh words to heart.
3. Ask the Client to Give Specific and Measurable Details about their Complaints
You may come in contact client who has genuine worries but wants to blame it on you.
When this happens, tell them to be precise and straight to the point.
Make them state clearly what their concerns are.
When your client states the actual problem, you can now proffer a solution.
This way, it’s easier to identify the cause of the problem and proffer appropriate solutions without giving rise to more conflict.
4. Admit, but do not Agree – How to Deal With a Difficult Client
When you sometimes agree to what a difficult client says, it enhances the argument.
You can admit to their point and find a way to change the discussion to resolve it.
Know a difficult client’s actual complaint and focus on the solution.
Don’t agree to anything that you cannot do.
Hence, be open to hearing them out, but be decisive in responding to their complaint and giving solutions.
5. Focus on the Solution- How to Deal With a Difficult Client
This is another way to deal with a difficult client.
Rather than focus on the issue on the problem, focus on providing a solution.
Put off any distractions that might be coming from your client and concentrate on the resolution of the issue at hand.
With this in mind, a great goal will be actualized.
6. Spot the Personality Differences and Match the Client with a Suitable Person to Handle the Complaints
Regardless of how committed and passionate you are on the job, some clients will not mix well with you.
It is more or less like an “oil and water situation” where both of you cannot come to a mutual understanding.
Personality differences and preferences often cause this.
It is pointless trying to resolve things with such clients in times like this as it would only foster more disagreement.
Instead, hand over the client to someone with whom they have a good rapport to resolve the issues.
Better still, ask the clients whom they’ll prefer to attend to and resolve their complaints.
Sometimes, clients might prefer to talk to the manager, and other times, they may prefer to talk to their favorite staff.
The quicker you realize this and give them who they desire, the easier it is to resolve the difficulties.
7. Have a Face-to-Face Meeting
When they receive a complaint, many entrepreneurs’ first choice is to send an email or text to protect themselves from confrontation.
This seems natural but might not yield a positive result.
When speaking with a difficult client, the tone of your voice can calm or aggravate their temper.
Do not risk your transaction with a demanding client by shying away from seeing or speaking to them.
Therefore, you should not often depend on text or emails when dealing with difficult clients in your business.
They will understand you better when you see and talk to them.
Have a one-on-one chat with any difficult client.
This gives a better understanding of whatever you say or discuss with them.
This is because it’s easier to misinterpret emails, recorded messages, or phone calls.
However, with face-to-face conversations, things are much clearer.
To avoid misunderstandings from with clients, where appropriate, deal with their issues personally instead of through text or emails.
8. Make the Difficult Client your Priority
When it comes to dealing with difficult customers, you should make them a priority.
Concentrate on their needs at that moment and give them your attention/time.
Difficult clients can get provoked once they notice that you don’t take them seriously.
Therefore, concentrate on dealing with a demanding client until the issue is resolved successfully.
In some organizations, special employees with experience are specifically tasked with handling a difficult client.
Above all, treating difficult clients as a priority makes them feel important, gives them the needed attention, and lays the foundation for a peaceful resolution of the issues.
9. Give Them Time to Express their Emotions
One of the most demanding parts of interacting with a difficult client is staying quiet.
You have to resist the need to stand up for yourself and tell the client that they are wrong.
In business settings, clients are seen to be always right.
When they are shouting or angry, give them the chance to express their displeasure.
Ensure that you remain polite and calm while they vent, as it will help a great deal.
Let them know that you appreciate their concern however you would prefer that they communicate with you politely.
As you know, two wrongs cannot make a right.
Step down for a difficult client when there is a heated argument.
Allow them to win to avoid the issue getting out of hand.
You shouldn’t exchange words with your client or point out their mistakes when their emotions are running hot.
This is to avoid complicating things further.
Let your client speak their mind; let them pour out all their complaints.
And ensure that you respond without sounding like you are making fun or jest of them.
Resolving issues with a difficult client is based on you responding in a considerate manner.
The urge to tell the client they are wrong is often intense, especially when they are actually wrong.
However, as a business-minded person or a professional, that is sometimes not the right approach to dealing with a difficult client.
10. Show Empathy, Identify their Painpoints, and Apologize
When there is an issue, and you don’t want it to escalate, apologize.
Be the big person in the room.
Make the first move of apologizing.
“I am sorry” can go a long way in mending hearts.
This works especially when they are angry or frustrated.
Put yourself in their shoes and give them a helping hand.
Furthermore, settle their complaints and issues.
The lip that first utters the word “sorry” wants peace, and the angry one will recognize this and be at peace.
11. Be Overwhelmingly Polite and Gentle throughout the Conversation
When you have a demanding client, you have to be gentle with your words.
Speak to them with real kindness since you’ve already allowed them to vent.
They might not have acknowledged the solution you proffer but will always remember how harshly you spoke to them.
Ensure that they know that you have their back at all times.
Your smiles, laughter, kindness, and sympathy should be real.
Your words of encouragement and all your good actions towards them should also be genuine.
Overall, balance your good actions towards a difficult client; it must not be excessive.
Being ungenuine and excessively polite can come off as a mockery of the client’s personality, and that is the last thing you want when trying to resolve a conflict.
However, by being genuinely polite and kind, you can overcome the difficult client’s emotions and resolve the issue amicably.
12. Call-In Some Help
Sometimes, handling a difficult client can get more complicated than it ought to be.
Therefore, when you start noticing that things are getting out of control like raised voices, using abusive words, challenging your professional experience, etc., don’t be shy to call for some help.
This help might be calling a superior, another highly placed colleague, or security officials.
This is to keep the situation under control and prevent chaos in the organization.
Overall, call for help when you notice you can’t handle a difficult client.
13. Satisfy your Clients
Help your clients feel it is their right to complain and you attending to their complaints is your pleasure.
Make use of words like “it is my pleasure to be at your service.”
Solve issues repeating these words anytime complaint arises ”it is my pleasure to be at your service”.
This makes a difficult client more understanding and makes business with them moves smoothly.
14. Understand that It’s Never Personal When Dealing With a Difficult Client
This phrase can put you in the right space mentally when dealing with a difficult client.
As much as the difficult client’s frustration is targeted at you, it is always never personal.
The clients see you as a representative of the business, and by pouring their complaints on you, they understand that the business will get their message.
Hence, regardless of how the client’s words are target at you directly, keep saying to yourself, “it’s not personal.”
This will help you not to take things too personally.
Likewise, it will caution you by making you see yourself as a representative of the organization and prevent you from attacking the client’s personality.
As a result, helping you address the issue directly and not the difficult client.
15. Let Them Go
When every step to deal with a difficult client fails, the best thing to do is to let them go.
There is nothing as important as one’s sanity.
Find a way to work or spend time with a productive client.
You should not waste your time with an unduly difficult one.
Cut ties with such clients to avoid unnecessary waste of time and resources.
Don’t waste time and resources in a transaction with an extremely demanding client.
However, bear in mind that you both can healthily go your separate ways.
This means things didn’t work out at that point but can work in the future.
Letting your client go is the best for both of you, with no hard feelings.
At this point, it helps you move to your next profitable client.
Opportunities might come again to do business with such clients in the future on good terms and with better understanding.
So, do not waste precious time trying to satisfy a difficult client.
If you’ve tried all you can and all things prove abortive, politely let the client go without burning the bridge.
Conclusion On How to Deal With a Difficult Client
All in all, good relationships in business are essential.
There is joy in pleasing a difficult client.
Businesses thrive where there is tranquility and order.
Just as clients are the live wire of any business, difficult clients can also sap the life out of your business.
Hence the need to know how to deal with difficult clients.
With the right strategies, a difficult client can be better and soften with your understanding.
Overall, adhering to these tips properly can transform a difficult client into the best your business can ever have.
If you have any questions, feel free to let us know in the comment section below.