Creating an outstanding customer experience that keeps clients coming back for more is something that every firm strives towards. However, sometimes the reality is that your clients aren’t singing your praises—and, in many cases, you may not even know the exact reasons why they are dissatisfied. In this article, we'll take a look at a few ways that you can check in on your client satisfaction as well as a few helpful tips for dealing with an unhappy client.
How to Determine if Your Clients are Satisfied
Some clients will make it very clear when they are happy with your work. For others, though, determining whether or not they are satisfied can sometimes be a bit of a guessing game. With that said, though, even clients that are not open and upfront about their dissatisfaction tend to exhibit signs of unhappiness that are easy to spot if you are looking for them.
Let's start with a brief discussion of what a satisfied client looks like. If a client keeps offering you their repeat business, leaves positive reviews, gives you a tip, or recommends you to their friends and colleagues then you can likely rest assured that they are happy with the services you provided.
If, on the other hand, a client seems a little less enthusiastic in their communication than they tend to be then there's a good chance that something is bothering them. In situations where a client isn't making their dissatisfaction obvious but still seems dissatisfied for some reason, you may want to reach out to them. A simple email asking if everything was up to their standards is typically all it takes to get a client to open up so that you are able to resolve whatever issue is troubling them.
Tips for Dealing with Unhappy Clients
If you determine that a client is unhappy with your firm's service, you'll need to take a careful approach when trying to make it right. While it's important to do everything you can to keep your clients happy, some clients are simply impossible to satisfy—and bending over backward for clients such as this is often more trouble than it is worth. To help you deal with unhappy clients in the most productive way possible, here are a few tips for handling a customer that isn't satisfied with your services:
1. Don't Be Afraid to Admit Your Mistakes
If a client has a legitimate gripe about the service that they received, don't be afraid to admit your mistake. Apologize to the client, admit where you went wrong, and do your best to make it right. Arguing with a client or trying to make up excuses for your error isn't going to get you anywhere.
2. Show Empathy
Being able to put yourself in your client's shoes is an essential part of great customer service. If you are able to truly empathize with your clients and understand their frustration, dealing with an unhappy client is sure to be much easier.
3. Don't Take it Personally
If you take an unhappy client as a personal offense, you are likely to end up even more angry and frustrated than your client. The ability to separate business from your personal feelings is essential when dealing with an unhappy client. Keep in mind that they aren't mad at you personally; they're mad at the service your company provided. While not taking an angry client personally is often easier said than done, being able to maintain a calm and emotionally detached demeanor when communicating with an unhappy client is key.
4. Search for a Solution
When dealing with an unhappy client, finding a solution that is satisfactory for both parties should be your ultimate goal. In some cases, this solution is easy to spot and simple to provide. In other cases, though, you might not be so lucky. Either way, it's important to listen to your unhappy clients, understand their issues, and work to provide a satisfactory resolution whenever possible.
5. Know When to Give Up
While it's important to do everything you can to find a solution that will satisfy an unhappy client, it's also important to know when to give up. Some clients simply won't be satisfied no matter what you do or say. If it's obvious that your conversation with an unhappy client is going nowhere, it's often better to simply apologize and take the loss. Bending over backward to try and please an unappeasable client isn't worth the time and energy.
Making sure that your clients are happy is one of the most important keys to running a successful firm. By paying careful attention to what your clients are telling you and doing everything you can to resolve any issues that come up in a friendly and professional manner, you can develop a strategy for dealing with clients that will hopefully leave as many of them as possible completely satisfied with your services.