When you are in an agency, your client relationships are imperative. And we all have those clients that seem to get under our skin from time to time. Being in a client-oriented environment, it’s very important to keep your cool, even if the client is wrong. Below are a few good ideas on how to deal with those difficult clients.
Using your words carefully
Firstly, do not use harsh words in an email that the client might misinterpret. Be very clear about the situation and come across as trying to resolve the issue instead of trying to prove you are right. Choose your words carefully, even though the client makes you cringe. Your words and how you use them can either land you in a bit of trouble or solve the problem.
Always keep a paper trail. And what does that mean? Keep track of every meeting, telephone call and email. This is very important when clients go back on their word or cannot remember giving their consent. This allows you to easily back yourself up and pull out that email or meeting notes that stated exactly what the client said or agreed to. It’s a bit hard to argue if something is in black and white. This simply covers your back when the client cannot remember what they have agreed on.
Golden rule, always under promise
This should be a standard in every business. Under promising the client eliminates any unrealistic expectations. This is when you say no to deadlines you can’t actually meet and be completely honest about the capacity you can take on. If you can complete the project before the deadline, then that’s great. Because when you under promise and over deliver it surprises the client and turns you into a fantastic person to work with. This protects you from over promising and under delivering.
Stick to the Goal
Stick to the main goal and what you and the client want to achieve. It’s very important to listen and try to understand where the miscommunication lies if there is a misunderstanding. Make sure that you acknowledge what is said by the client and ensure they feel like you have acknowledged their position, even if you don’t agree. Shift the conversation to a solution. Work towards the goal and make the main objective to complete the task at hand.
Each client is different. So, ensure you pull through and do your part. At the end of the day, that will keep even the most difficult client happy.