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10 Tips and tricks to deal with difficult clients
Client dealing is an essential part of the success of any business. If you cannot deal with clients properly, you won’t be able to generate a long-lasting and sustainable business.
Some clients are relatively difficult from others. They can cause you some trouble, and if you fail to deal with them carefully, they might even become a reason for causing harm to your business.
So, as a business owner, if you struggle dealing with difficult clients, this guide is for you. We will be discussing some tips and tricks that will enable you to tackle them properly and turn them into your long-term customers.
But before we dig into the tips, let us understand the basic definition of a difficult client.
- 10 Tips and tricks to deal with difficult clients
- What Makes a Client Difficult?
- What are the Activities for Handling Difficult Customer Conversations?
- Steps to Coach Difficult Clients Effectively
- 1. Listen to client’s viewpoint
- 2. Build connection by empathizing
- 3. Approach the situation with genuine curiosity
- 4. Comprehend the true issue
- 5. Upfront relationship rules
- 6. Try not to complain, stay calm
- 7. Reset the rules and re-enroll them with new guidelines
- 8. Highlight what they genuinely deserve to listen
- 9. Work towards mutual purpose-driven outcome
- 10. Provide unconditional positive feedback and suggestions
- How to Deal with Difficult Clients Virtually?
- What are the Common Issues Faced by Coaches while Handling Difficult Clients?
What Makes a Client Difficult?
A difficult client generally has higher expectations that might not even be possible to provide for any business. They can also sound rude and have a different personality that does not align with your business.
Clients can be demanding in so many other ways as well. Typically, if you are not enjoying working with a particular client, you can categorize them as difficult.
Although these clients can be difficult to handle, they can be a reason for significant growth of your business since they give you a lot of learning.
As per Bill Gates:
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
So, instead of running away from difficult clients, you should try building a constant and long-lasting work relationship with them by utilizing some proven tips and tricks.
What are the Activities for Handling Difficult Customer Conversations?
When working remotely, you will make most of the client conversations via messages or calls. This can become a significant reason for many miscommunications. Due to this, you need to make the conversation extremely friendly.
The difficulties in conversations are increased even more when dealing with a difficult client. Here are some tips for handling difficult customer conversations effectively.
1. Start the conversation with empathy
Empathy is the key to dealing with a difficult client effectively. You should start the conversation in a respectful manner and try to understand the client’s requirements. You can make the conversation slightly longer to know more about the client.
Starting the conversation with a respectful greeting or hello will positively impact the customer. Then, you should try making the customer comfortable by asking about the client’s health and business requirements. These acts will make the client feel your care for them.
2. Apologize in an effective manner
If the customer is unhappy, you should apologize effectively. Whether there is your mistake or not, you should make them feel that you can solve the issue and make it work.
Your acts and words should make the clients realize that you can take the client’s business to success. Doing this will also open doors for future business opportunities with the same client.
3. Follow the instructions that client provides
You should always follow the client’s instructions instead of rubbing your knowledge onto them. You can make suggestions and let the client decide what is best for them. However, if the client allows you to do what’s best, you are free to make the best possible changes.
4. Act according to the situation try to provide more value
The most important thing that matters is your understanding of the case. It is important to understand that different problems require different solutions. You will need some experience to get better at analyzing the situation and make decisions according to it.
5. Take the steps to solve the problem
The next and the most important thing is your solution to the problem and way of doing it. No matter how good your communication is, you won’t have any happy clients if you fail to solve the problem.
Steps to Coach Difficult Clients Effectively
Now that you have a basic understanding of difficult clients let’s get started with tips and tricks to help you coach them effectively.
1. Listen to client’s viewpoint
Communication is the key to success for any coaching business. As a coach, you need to make sure that the problem statement is clear. You should ask different questions to the clients and avoid intercepting your point of view.
You should spend some time identifying and listening to the client’s point of view. You can also write down all the clients’ requirements with proper records. This will make you understand the client’s point of view. Once it is clear, you can share your point of view on the matter.
2. Build connection by empathizing
Empathizing is crucial when you are dealing with a difficult client. When you show empathy, the client feels relaxed, comfortable and effectively shares the information.
For empathizing, you can take the following steps.
· Listen carefully without interrupting and sharing your own opinion when the client is talking.
· Understand the nature of the client.
· Deeply analyze clients’ body language without making them realize that you are noticing them.
· Do some random talks about life, career, or business.
· Share some stories.
· Understand their life by asking them specific questions (avoid being personal.)
3. Approach the situation with genuine curiosity
When coaching difficult clients, it is vital to understand your interest in their problems or business.
To do this, you should try asking questions in curiosity. This will make them realize that the coach is interested in their matter.
When talking about their problems, you should always try to remain interested. Avoid distractions like mobile, social media, or random mind thoughts and focus entirely on the talk.
4. Comprehend the true issue
The next tip for dealing with a difficult coaching client is showing and understanding the real issue. Some coaches try hiding the true issue the client is facing and interpret solutions that do not even exist. This leads to frustration of the client and can cause more difficulty.
So, it is better to understand and tell the client about the true issue.
5. Upfront relationship rules
Building solid relationships with difficult clients is an excellent way to avoid any issue. You should be able to communicate with them properly and make strong communications before conducting any business talks.
Here is what you can do to build strong upfront relationship rules.
· Conduct random conversations
· Clarify your needs and wants
· Talk about the solutions and what you can offer
· Make everything clear with proofs
· Remain polite throughout the dealing
6. Try not to complain, stay calm
Avoiding any complaints is the best way to tackle any situation while dealing with a difficult client. You should avoid blaming the client for anything, even if it is their mistake.
You need to stay calm while dealing with them. For doing this, you need to bear some words and actions. But remember, once they are comfortable trading and working with you, they will realize your value.
7. Reset the rules and re-enroll them with new guidelines
If any miscommunication or problem occurs, it is better to reset the directions than fight on it. This will leave a good impact on your client, and they will realize your professionalism.
Sometimes problems might occur when there is a communication gap between you and the client. No matter what problem the client causes, you should always try solving them by changing the existing guidelines.
8. Highlight what they genuinely deserve to listen
Highlighting the issues and giving them solutions is important when dealing with difficult clients. It is important to make the clients realize the work you have done.
In the end, your work and value brought to the customer matter the most. So, you should try showing them your result. This will make them realize what is making the difference for them.
9. Work towards mutual purpose-driven outcome
Mutual understanding is the key feature to adequately dealing with difficult clients. You should always carry out work with joint collaboration and avoid anything that triggers the client.
It is better to ask for recommendations before changing the guidelines or the training curriculum. You are always free to know about client needs. Once you are aware of them, you should provide data-driven solutions.
10. Provide unconditional positive feedback and suggestions
Providing unconditional positive feedback and suggestions will bring more future business opportunities and excellent client collaboration.
You should always remain ready to share any solution, even if it is unpaid. This will make clients realize that their problems concern you more than anything else.
How to Deal with Difficult Clients Virtually?
Dealing with difficult clients becomes even more problematic when we are working with them virtually.
However, there are ways to deal with these difficult clients simply and effectively.
1. Interact with them effectively
Interaction is the key when you are dealing with a client virtually. If you don’t possess good communication skills, specific problems are already waiting for you.
It is better to make them feel comfortable by asking certain questions about their business. You should also talk politely and try avoiding any rude behavior.
When you are having a call meeting, it is better to have a smile on your face when you are talking. This shows your friendly nature and clients feel comfortable with you.
2. Understand the problem and provide solution
Understanding the problem statement is the most important thing when dealing with a client virtually. You need to make sure the client’s problem is clear to you.
If it is not, you should ask different questions related to the problem and correctly identify them. This will help you in solving the problem accurately.
Once you are clear in mind about the information provided, you need to make sure you can solve the problem. If the problem is beyond your solving criteria and skill set, it is better to refuse the work.
3. Keep them updated
Keeping the client updated is crucial when you are doing remote business. You need to make sure that the client remains updated about the work. You can update them via text messages or emails if meetings are not possible.
Constant updates can be beneficial in so many different ways. The client can identify the pace of the work. This also makes them aware of the problems or mistakes, if any.
4. Make the changes according to their requirements
Understanding the requirements and solving the problems according to the client’s needs is vital to consider. You should avoid making changes according to your desire and needs.
5. Build long-term business relationship
Building long-term customers is the most important thing for the success of any business. Whether you are doing an online or offline business, your ultimate goal should be long-term client building.
For this, you should always go the extra mile to satisfy your clients. You can provide various add-ons along with your work to make them come to you again and again.
What are the Common Issues Faced by Coaches while Handling Difficult Clients?
Coaching difficult clients can be frustrating if you are not aware of the suitable methods to satisfy them. And sometimes, even if everything is done correctly, you won’t satisfy some of your clients because of their complicated expectations.
Here are some common issues coaches face when dealing with difficult clients.
1. Lack of Objectivity
Dealing with clients having no objective with their coaching business is one of the major issues. As a coach, you will get exposed to so many such clients who ask you to give them an objective.
This can be frustrating and annoying for any online coach. To deal with this issue, you need to give them a roadmap and time to identify their coaching objective instead of making suggestions.
2. Different Nature
As a coach, you will get different clients having no compatible nature. Since communication with the client is crucial to train them properly, you will find the incompatible nature difficult to tackle.
3. Lack of Communication
Lack of communication is one of the most common traits of difficult clients. Most of them even fail to explain their problem adequately. They can show arrogance or rude behavior, which can be frustrating for any coach.
4. Too Many Expectations
High expectations are another common issue in most challenging clients. They expect everything to be delivered to them even if they have purchased a niche relevant course or a short training.
All in all, difficult clients can be a real source of learning and handling them can never be an issue if you utilize the tricks properly.
You just need to make sure you incorporate your solutions with their problems adequately and precisely to build a long-term business relationship.