Handling stressful clients is not a topic many people, freelancers and companies especially, like to address. This is often because many businesses are used to ‘the customer is never wrong’ mentality. Now, when a company has a ‘trouble’ client who may be wrong in any given scenario, the right thing in their mind to do is to follow the usual ‘the customer is always right’ mindset to avoid conflict.
Although, as business owners, we know that clients are very much capable of being in the wrong. This frustrates me a little. Being the CEO of my own company, I really value my clients and want nothing but the best for them and their business. However, it doesn’t mean I won’t advise them on what I believe is better for them, even if it goes against what they think.
Nor does it mean I’ll allow clients to take advantage of me. For some reason, many business owners and freelancers are scared to say those words. You won’t be able to handle difficult clients successfully if you don’t have a backbone and stand for something.
So, since we’ve established that, here are four ways you can handle these situations:
1. Reassure them that you have their best interest at heart
Sometimes when you’re conducting business, things can get busy and disagreements occur. Simply put, clients become dissatisfied with your offering. When these situations arise, it’s easy for clients to assume that you may not have their best interests at heart. The easiest thing to do is to reassure them that every decision you make, and every piece of advice you give them is only for the achievement of their goals.
Another benefit of doing this is that it builds rapport and strengthens the relationship. This is a good preventive measure for any conflict that may be on the horizon as well as a good tactic to fix any built-up resentment.
“When you help others feel important, you help yourself feel important too.” – David J. Schwartz
2. Create common goals
Creating common goals is another way of de-escalating situations with clients. This is another simple measure to show them that you two are on the same team. For whatever reason, when things get heated and disagreements occur, clients may feel that you two aren’t on the same page.
In fact, you may view it the same way as well if things are starting to go downhill. Setting up a time to speak and create common goals will not only help your client feel more comfortable with your partnership, but it will also help you sleep better at night as well.
I established that the customer may not always be right, but a good business owner or employee of a company should always take the blame, even when you know that you’re not at fault. Whatever the case may be, always take responsibility.
More importantly, apologize when the time is right. An apology can go a long way. Although there are exceptions where this method can be ineffective, it doesn’t hurt to show that you’re truly thinking about your actions and the situation at hand. Simply apologize and move on.
4. Come up with a solution
This is probably the most effective strategy you can use when handling a stressful client. When there’s a problem, a good business person comes up with a solution. This solution should be tailored towards the cause of the problem at hand. When I encountered problems with clients of my company, WebInsight, I simply scheduled a face-to-face meeting to take the bull by the horns.
This put the fire out right away. Of course, each situation is unique and you must use your best judgment when coming up with a solution. It’s crucial to ensure you get a 360 view of the situation at hand and put yourself in your client shoes for full understanding.
“I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Handling clients is stressful, but it’s one of the many blessings that can occur in your company. Why? Well, clients who are upset with your services are basically providing free feedback and pointing out ways that you can improve.
It’s a blessing in disguise if you ask me. When you ever find yourself in a situation with a stressful client (you will because it’s inevitable), follow these 4 tips to repair the relationship and provide value as a business owner.
How have you handled stressful clients? Leave your thoughts below!
Image courtesy if Twenty20.com
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5 Hacks to Improve Your Writing Skills in English for ESL Learners
Studying in college is hard for everyone, but ESL learners arguably suffer the most. Moving to a foreign country, learning a new language, and keeping pace with the rest of the class may seem like an unbearable burden. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, but you have to pull through and not give up.
In moments like this, it’s always a good idea to seek help. Whether you go to WriteMyPaper to order an essay or just talk to a friend, admitting vulnerability is an important step towards improvement. In this article, you will find some tips on how to get better at essay writing, even if English is not your native language.
Control Your Environment
Improving your language skills is all about constant practice. Living in an English-speaking community is the first thing you should do to start your practice. It might be tempting to surround yourself with people who already speak a familiar language. However, this way, you won’t be practicing English on a daily basis.
You need to make those lessons almost intuitive in a way that you don’t have to do anything to learn the language. If you live in an English-speaking community, for example, if your roommate speaks English, you will have to practice the language, whether you want it or not.
Still, make sure you don’t take it too far. Taking care of yourself is still as important as ever. Feeling like an alien for the sake of education is not worth it. Remember to keep in touch with your friends and family, talk to them as often as necessary.
Practicing language is not just about doing your homework. You can make practicing English a normal part of your daily routine by watching TV, listening to music, and reading books in this language.
Yet, this is a bit tricky. When being surrounded by white noise, people tend to learn not to notice it. You need to ensure this doesn’t happen. As you watch movies or read books, maintain your attention on what you’re doing. If you hear or see a word that you don’t understand – translate it and write it down. Be mindful and remember what you’re doing this for.
Writing Is The Answer
If you want to specifically learn to write, you need to do one thing, and that is to write. Continuous practice will help you understand what mistakes you often make and, in time, eliminate them. Focus on your goal, and don’t get discouraged when something’s not working. After all, even Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Get a journal and write in it daily. Pick a new topic every time and note everything you can think of. It’s also important that you write by hand, a spelling checker in your computer is tempting, but it will not help you remember how to spell words correctly.
Besides, journaling as a habit has multiple health benefits, and it can be therapeutic. It can help you get in touch with yourself and process your emotions better.
Learn In a Group
It’s proven that learning in a group is more efficient due to the sense of competition. Find a bunch of like-minded people who want to study with you or join an already existing one, like a speaking club.
The benefit of such activities is that you get all these people from entirely different backgrounds who are all good at various things. This will help you exchange experiences, which is impossible if you’re alone.
Schedule regular meetings, come up with topics to discuss and activities to do. You could watch videos or movies together, or talk about common things. Having assignments like describing an event can also be beneficial for the entire group. This way, while one person speaks, the rest think about how they would say the same things differently.
This will help you feel more confident in your skills and, consequently, speak and write better.
The most important thing about learning a language is not to be afraid of making mistakes. It’s inevitable; you just have to take it as a natural part of a learning process.
A child that is learning how to walk doesn’t give up after falling once, and you shouldn’t either. It’s most likely that your friends understand that you’re just learning a language, and they won’t laugh at you for misusing a word or a few.
Get over that fear of error and make as many mistakes as it will take. Treat it lightly, and don’t beat yourself up for it. On the other hand, try to attend as many events as you can that will expose you to the foreign language. Not only will it boost your English skills, but also improve your social confidence!
Learning a language is hard; there’s no arguing about that. However, it’s going to get easier with time. Take every hard thing that life throws at you and turn it into a lesson.
Watch your favorite movies in English, converse with native speakers, and you’ll see the improvement very soon!
Remember to be patient about it. Don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over something that you have so little control of. Good luck!
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