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Business Tips : Client Relations

Step-by-step for dealing with angry (and difficult) clients.

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(These tips are compiled and produced by the content team at Bridestory and Bornevia, a company building simple customer service software for online businesses)

Working in the wedding industry, you're bound to meet different people with obviously different expectations for you. Some days your clients would be elated with your service during their big day, and some other days your other clients would come back to you with a pout on their faces. Having angry clients is inevitable and when they're angry they could become difficult to mitigate.

There are only two outcomes when trying to appease angry clients, you either make them even angrier or you successfully fix your relationships. The latter outcome is more desired however it depends on how you carry yourself in front of them. In here, we give you step-by-step to help you cool them off.

Forget your ego and apologize. Before anything else, apologize first for the dissatisfactions your clients have experienced. Don't be too proud to say sorry because a client wouldn't have complaint if nothing was wrong. Sometimes the problem could be so tiny you don't think it should be such a big deal, but remember that brides-to-be get more finicky for their wedding because they want it to be as perfect as possible.

Listen first, talk second. Naturally, angry clients want you to understand why they are angry. If you're meeting them in person to resolve the problem, don't interrupt when they're still venting their anger. By cutting them in the middle, you may seem like completely disregarding their frustration and their anger could escalate from bad to worse. In another case, if you're handling them online, make sure your response is professional, concise and accommodating. Avoid being difficult just because the clients aren't in front of you.

Empathize with the customers. It's a necessary cliché. By empathizing, you can set the tone of your interaction with them. Start with maintaining eye contact and giving empathetic gestures and remarks such as nodding while saying "I totally feel you, I'd feel like breaking down too if it happens to me in my wedding". Let them cool down and make the conversation flows by showing genuine interest to find the cause of the problems so you and the client can settle on a middle ground.

Don't take things to heart. Often times you can't help but be hurt by offensive comments from angry clients. Try to not be influenced by the negativity and instead take it as both a test and constructive criticism that can help improve your business and your own customer management skill. Afterall, running a business won't always be smooth-sailing. Remember that the taller the tree, the stronger the wind.

Provide feasible solution only. Don't make promises that you can't keep just because you want them to be happy and to prevent them from spreading bad words about you. Even if you think the faults aren't solely yours, sometimes your understanding and willingness to admit your faults are sufficient for the angered clients, If they pester you for something in return, be wise and only offer within your limitations.

Apologize again, thank them and fix your relationship. It's better to know what went wrong than not knowing at all that problems have occurred, so thank your clients for their anger and honesty. This way you're also giving them a reason to fix their perception of you and even make them more keen of you.

Defusing angry clients is like mending a broken bridge - you can either fail or succeed while rebuilding. It would be challenging to reconnect with them as you need to watch your own actions, avoid over promising and don't underestimate the situation. As the conversation goes, assure them that you can understand their frustrations if you were in the same spot and you'd like to ask for the same thing they're asking. Eventually, your client management skill reflects the professionalism of your own brand.

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