Do you find yourself dealing with overly demanding clients who always seem to be dissatisfied with your cleaning services, despite your best efforts to provide deliver outstanding results? Do you feel overwhelmed by them, and increasingly in need of an effective way to handle them? As a business owner, it may be frustrating to have a stubborn and sometimes problematic customer. But the truth is you may not find a single right approach to address this issue.
Nobody wants to see their business reputation tainted on social media because an issue with a client escalates. All customer grievances must be dealt with immediately and in a manner that doesn’t cause further damage.
What Is a Problematic Customer?
It may not be easy to define a problematic client because the term “problematic client” may be relative; it depends on the industry and the type of deal or contract you have with such clients. Some people who work in the cleaning services industry may have unpleasant stories about those clients who have little or no patience with their workers.
Issues with difficult clients may be more complicated than you may envisage when looking at things from the surface. The damage such an unpleasant relationship may do to your business may be dire if you fail to act wisely.
Questions to Ask When Dealing with a Problematic Customer
There are several ways you can deal with a difficult client. But before you do so, try and pause for a while and think about your relationship with your client. You can achieve this by asking relevant questions like, is my client’s attitude affecting my business’s performance or growth? Will my reactions affect my business in any way? Is my client unnecessarily complicated, or does he have a genuine reason to act in such a manner? Once you have responded to these questions, then you can go ahead to implement some useful strategies in dealing with difficult clients.
How to Deal with Hard-to-Manage Clients
The following is a list of practical ways to deal with demanding clients as a cleaning company owner.
1. Don’t Fight Fire with Fire
While it may be tempting to fight back at a problematic customer, especially when you feel that their complaints are baseless, behaving aggressively only succeeds in aggravating an already tense situation further. You cannot deal with a problematic client by letting your emotions get the better of you. When you feel that you have been pushed to the wall by your client, remain calm and breathe deeply to better diffuse the situation.
2. Resolve the Issue As Soon As Possible
Not reacting in anger does not mean that you should ignore the issue altogether. Doing so is not the answer. Do not assume that the case will be resolved on its own. Dealing with a problematic client may set the tone for other things to come, be they positive or negative, depending on the client’s willingness to come to an agreement and move on. However, ignoring the problem will only allow it to fester and grow worse, leading to an even more challenging problem than what you began with.
3. Don’t Point Fingers
When a client is unhappy, they have little interest in whose fault it is. All they want is a swift solution. If the problem is not directly your fault and instead lies with the actions of one or more staff members, you must take full responsibility regardless, and avoid unnecessary arguments with your clients.
4. Do Not Be Overly Concerned About the Financial Damage
Sometimes you have to be prepared to cut into your bottom line, if you wish to resolve highly complicated issues. While it’s never a good situation to find yourself in, just remember that an unhappy customer can be far more damaging to your business in the long run. Bad news travels fast, and having someone telling all their friends, family and business associates what a horrible experience they had with your business, can be disastrous.
5. Do Not Be Afraid to Lose a Problematic Customer
There are times when you have done all you can to resolve a difficult situation and satisfy the client’s needs as best you can, yet despite all the sacrifice on your part, you are still unable to placate their grievances. At that point, you should not be afraid of losing such a client. Clients who mistreat your staff or look down on your work after all your efforts to change their minds should be shown the exit door.
No matter what industry you are in, difficult or ‘hard-to-handle’ clients are a fact of life. As the owner of a cleaning company, you must be able to resolve all grievances in a manner that does not harm your business reputation. Following the steps outlined in this article will ensure a better outcome for you and your customers.