Resolving Client Conflicts Successfully
September 21, 2020
Anyone who is in or has been in business knows what it's like to have a conflict on your hands. Customers don't always agree with what you said, what you did, or what you say you did.
Having owned and managed many successful businesses I want to share some of the things that have helped me get through conflict resolution successfully. You may not agree with all of them; however, I can almost guarantee that through incorporating these practices in your business you will have a lot better results.
The customer is always right
Yes, even when they are wrong. This rule of thumb was taught to me when I was all of 14 years old. I know you may be appalled at the thought of conceding to some customers. Maybe you didn't say what they interpreted or do what they accused you of. However, just hear me out.
Implementing this into every business over the last 20 years of being an entrepreneur has helped to make conflicts less problematic. First, what the customer is saying can be great feedback for you and your company. Second, who wants a customer who would give them a bad review or reputation. You are better off resolving the conflict so in the end, you still have a good status with the customer. Allow them to believe they are right even when you know they aren't.
Listening to what's in it for me
As you discuss what's going on with your conflict, I implore you to keep in mind that people listen to what you are saying wondering what's in it for them.
To assist in finding a resolution, consider what you need to do to help make them happy. People get upset when they feel the outcome is not as they predicted it would be. Knowing that some customers over ask of what they expect of you, keep in mind you don't want to over-promise and under deliver.
In listening to them, do what you can to calm them and reassure them that you will do the best you can to make it right.
Let them know what you can do for them to resolve the conflict. Be fair and do what you can to meet their expectations.
Compromising when necessary
The best thing you can do to avoid conflict is to know the outcome of the services you provide and present them most clearly and concisely to your customer. Being that there are some clients that you just can't please you need to find a way to work with them, not against.
When a conflict is presented informing your customer you want to work with them to make things right will help diffuse most of their discouragement and allow you to find a compromise to suit you both. In business, we have all heard of a win-win. Where you win by getting paid and keeping your good reputation and the customer wins by having his expectations met and having the services performed. To both win, you need to work to find a compromise that makes everyone happy, to the best of your ability.
Sometimes to resolve conflicts we must give a little more than we want to keep our customers happy and have them refer us. Best of luck in working with customer conflict, let us know if we can assist you in resolutions.