How To Tell A Client They Are Wrong

How To Tell A Client They Are Wrong

There are times in your line of business that you would need to tell a client they are wrong. Knowing how valuable they are, you might wonder how exactly to go about this.

In any client-oriented business, company, brand, or organization, the client is king.

This is why the popular phrase “customers are always right” is used, especially in customer care and service.

This is to promote the need for a high standard and quality customer support system for clients.

However, analysis of this phrase would show you that clients are not always right, as a matter of fact.

What happens in a situation where all facts and evidence points to the client being wrong?

Should the business or product/service providers stick to the phrase that clients are always right?

Especially if it’s a sensitive situation that could affect the business.

As intricate as this situation might be, the right answer to these questions would be “no.”

This is why businesses or product/service providers must find the right approach to correct a customer.

Also, they need to know the right way to let clients know that they are wrong when the need arises.

This they need to do without disregarding the client or losing the client in the process.

The focal point is to guide and help businesses find the right ways to let clients know that they are wrong.

What Does It Mean For A Client To Be Wrong?

The idea of a client being wrong cannot be limited to a particular definition.

But it occurs when a client’s actions, decisions, and choices go against the business’s policies, guidelines, experience, and expertise.

The circumstances of a client being wrong vary from profession and fields.

It could be when a client is rude and disrespectful to staff or customer care representatives.

Therefore, they need to be told that they are wrong. 

It could also be when a client intends to use certain information which is incorrect or goes against the policies and guidelines of your profession.

And as such, they need to be corrected.

Additionally, it could be a client asking you to do illegal, unethical, and unrealistic things.

Even more, it could be a client wanting to make a decision that seems right to them.

However, such decisions could be detrimental to them and your business in the long run.

Above all, these are some of the scenarios a client might be wrong.

Therefore you need to know the right way to talk to the customers when telling them they are wrong.

As a business owner building the courage to tell a client, they’re wrong has its importance.

Importance Of Telling A Client That they are Wrong

Telling a client who is an essential part of your business is wrong can be a very dreadful and difficult thing to do.

Especially if you do not want the client to feel like you do not respect or value them.

Nevertheless, telling a client that he or she is wrong appropriately and diplomatically is a means of protecting the business and your client.

Here are some importance of telling a client they are wrong;

Telling a client, they are wrong protects your staff and business

As we earlier stated in this article, the phrase “customers/clients are right” often tends to be misused by clients when dealing with businesses.

Hence, leading to them feeling entitled to disrespect, abuse, and oppress a business and its employees.

This abuse of privilege is what you want to prevent.

This is because it could negatively impact your employees’ abilities to do their jobs positively and enthusiastically.

Overall, telling such a client that they are wrong also will make your employees feel valued.

It also proves to them that they can trust in you to defend them.

Thereby leading to employee satisfaction and a high retention rate for your business.

Telling a client, they are wrong helps you determine what client your business needs to let go of

There are certain cases when a client needs to be shown the door, albeit, unfortunately.

When a client is always disrespectful and rude or breaches contracts and delays payment.

Also, when a client often tries to get you to do something illegal or unethical.

Letting the client know that they are wrong could be the opportunity to determine if such a client is still worth keeping.

This is due to the problems they cause your business or the impending risks they could pose to your business in general.

Telling a client, they are wrong helps you to build trust and a relationship with the client

As undesirable as telling a client they are wrong, it can build trust and a relationship with the client.

Often when a client does something or asks you to do something, they have no idea that it is wrong.

This is why you need to gain their trust and strengthen your relationship by diplomatically using certain facts and information to educate the client.

As well as letting them know that such action or approach is wrong.

It is also an opportunity for you to let them know that you fully understand their needs.

Also, you will use the right approaches to ensure that the client in question achieves their goals and objectives.

This is by providing them with tested and trusted facts and solutions.

Telling a client, they are wrong is an opportunity to prove your worth and earn your client’s respect

Do not forget the major reason the client hired you or patronizes you.

This is because they do not possess the knowledge and skills needed to meet their needs.

So, when they do something wrong, it is an avenue to let them know that their approaches were wrong politely.

It’s also an opportunity to prove that you have the skills and experience needed to help them achieve their goals.

This boosts your client’s confidence in your abilities to help them achieve their aims.

It also helps you to earn their respect and trust, as well as to believe in your credibility.

Telling a client, they are wrong could be used as a means of education and helping them get better

Your client is not a professional; you are.

Unlike you, they do not have the experience, skills, knowledge, and technicalities of your field or industry. 

In situations where your client is wrong, pointing it out and telling them that they are wrong appropriately and diplomatically could also be an avenue for you to enlighten them.

This prevents your clients from making further mistakes or wrong decisions.

Telling a client they are wrong helps to boost your brand image and reputation

Telling a client, they are wrong even using the right approach and mediums might still be a bitter pill for them to swallow.

But if your facts are right and can identify the client’s problems while successfully providing a solution, they will feel regarded, valued, and prioritized by the business.

This will portray your business positively and strengthen your brand’s image.

Telling a client they are wrong helps you achieve customer retention and loyalty

It is important to tell your client they are wrong appropriately without upsetting them or making them feel disrespected and undervalued.

By doing so, you will retain them and build long-lasting business relationships with the client.

Above all, telling a client, they are wrong often turns out badly when using the wrong approach.

That said, it could make things better with you and the clients if you go about it the right way, as seen above.

How To Tell A Client They Are Wrong

When a client is wrong, the business needs to be careful about it to avoid escalating the situation.

Here are some of the right ways in which a business can appropriately tell a client that they are wrong;

1Be Certain That The Customer Is Wrong

Before informing a client that they are wrong, it is important to be certain that they are wrong.

Take time to evaluate and gather facts to be sure you understand the client properly.

This is also to ensure that there’s no miscommunication or a misinterpretation of facts.

Thereby preventing you from falsely accusing the client and showing that you have enough proof to state your case.

2Be Calm and Polite When Telling A Client They’re Wrong

Having facts that state that a client is wrong is not a reason to be rude, disrespectful, or condescending to the client. 

Rather, you must be calm and polite as anything otherwise will aggravate the client and escalate the situation on the ground.

Being calm and polite helps both you and the client identify the problem and work towards a solution.

It also shows your client that you respect and value them regardless of the situation.

3Do Not Blame The Client

In addition to being calm and polite, telling a client they are wrong is not an avenue or opportunity to blame the client, point fingers, or lay accusations. 

Instead, be diplomatic about your approach.

Being diplomatic means being neutral and avoiding stating all the reasons why that client.

More so, it means being careful of using words that could seem accusatory or upset the client in question.

This also shows that the client is valued and respected by the business, though they may be wrong.

4Ask Questions

In a situation where a client is wrong, you must ask the client questions.

These questions do not only help you to identify the problem.

Also, it helps determine if it is just a misunderstanding that you can address before taking any action.

These questions also help you to strategize on the best ways to provide a solution to the client.

Asking questions helps you to switch your focus from the problem at hand to help your client.

5Be Direct

Sometimes the best way to tell clients they are wrong is to be direct and polite.

However, do this while using facts only and nothing else to avoid upsetting the client.

Avoid sugarcoating the whole situation in a bid to please the client.

Being direct helps you bluntly tell the client that his/her actions are unacceptable by the business.

While being direct with your client, ensure to back it up with evidence and proofs that do not only prove you right.

It should also make your client see things from the right perspective and approach.

In all, words like “I think,” it seems like,” or “we should probably” defeats the purpose of being direct and could come off as a lack of certainty and accuracy to the client.

Hence, avoid such words when telling your clients they are wrong.

It’s best to be polite, firm, and direct.


Listening is also integral while telling the client that they are wrong.

Indeed, the client is wrong.

However, do not rule out that the client is king and has needs or concerns.

So, while informing them of their inappropriate actions, allow them to speak and express their thoughts, opinions, and perspective.

Do this while listening reflectively and attentively.

Listening helps you to understand what the client is trying to achieve.

It also helps you determine if you can offer the solutions they need or if you need to refer or recommend alternative solutions for them elsewhere.

7Show Your Expertise And Experience

Even when the client is wrong, the fact remains that you are the expert or professional which they hired.

Being an expert means that you possess the skills, knowledge, and experience to help your clients find a solution even though they are wrong.

Rather than staying upset at the client for being wrong, prove your worth to them.

More so, state your experience by assuring them that you will help them find a solution to the problem or situation.

8Change Their Perspective

Getting a client to see things from your perspective as professionals or experts when they are wrong is often difficult.

This is especially when the client still feels he or she is right about the situation.

To avoid dismissing the client’s need or debating with the client, try to change the client’s perspective.

This you do by focusing on the problem’s solution while keeping your client’s aims and goals in mind.

Try to reach a compromise by providing a way forward.

Give them facts from similar situations and information that could point towards alternative solutions that help your client in the long run.

9Provide Alternative Solutions

Another way you can rightly tell a client they are wrong while proving your worth is by helping them find a solution.

This provides them with alternative ideas and suggestions that do not dismiss their needs and concerns.

Instead, it gives them the answers they need the right way.

Providing your client with alternative solutions could also be by making recommendations or referrals to the client.

10Use Constructive Feedback

While telling a client, they are wrong, constructive feedback comes in handy.

Constructive feedback is used as a form of correction and improvement for clients.

It helps to erase any miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Likewise, it helps to provide the client with a new perspective.

Constructive feedback focuses on facts, and it focuses on the solution rather than the problem.

Additionally, it prevents the incidence of throwing blames at the client while focusing on providing recommendations and solutions.

11Provide Evidence Or Facts

If you need to convince your client that their approach is wrong, you must back it up with facts and evidence.

Convincing or trying to persuade a client without providing any evidence to back up your claims is fruitless.

To correct the client while pointing them in the right direction, you have enough facts to prove the clients’ mistakes and state the right path.

Conclusion On How To Tell A Client They Are Wrong

Telling a client, they are wrong is one of the most delicate things to do.

Like dealing with difficult client situations, telling a client, they are wrong can be disastrous if it is not handled delicately.

Businesses could lose the client or even end up having a bad review or image based on the client’s experience.

On the other hand, if it is handled with caution while also ensuring that the client is not insulted or disrespected, it can be overturned into an opportunity for the business.

An opportunity to boost its client’s confidence and trust while building a long-lasting customer relationship.

With the tips provided in this article, you have the best chance at winning your client over while informing them of their wrongdoings.