Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for a relationship with a customer to become flawed. Whether it’s a missed deadline or a pricing dispute, conflict happens to the best of us. In a perfect world, a tattered relationship would fix itself, but we all know that business is far from perfect.
The next time you find yourself in deep water with a client, follow these three tips.
- Keep the lines of communication open.
The desire to run and hide when things get tough can be overwhelming. However, ignoring your client’s phone calls and e-mails will not help. Make an effort to ask them what could have been done differently. Not only will this show them that you truly do care about their business, the feedback can help you avoid the same issue from happening twice.
- Ask for advice.
Don’t be afraid to ask either a mentor or coworker for their opinion. Often we get so wrapped up in an issue that it’s challenging to see the other side. Having someone provide an unbiased opinion can help you determine the best course of action. However, don’t depend on them to do your dirty work! You still need to be the one to smooth things over with your client.
- Actions speak louder than words.
In business, saying “sorry” only gets you so far. Don’t expect your client to really believe that you’re interested in making things right without proving otherwise. Clients like to see measurable steps taken to rectify the situation. Regardless of what actions you decide to go with, it’s advantageous to make sure that you’re not only just apologizing.
At the end of the day, it’s ultimately up to the clients to continue to do business with you. But, if you act quickly, and use the above tips for damage control, you can reduce the chances of losing a frustrated client.