How To Deal Effectively With Difficult Clients

By Christopher Knight

  1. LISTEN first, with sincerity.

  2. Don't assume the problem is always on their end. ENTERTAIN the possibility that the customers complaints are real, as many times they are REALLY a problem with you or your unit or company.

  3. DO NOT SAY THESE WORDS, in the heat of a difficult customer confrontation: "Our Policy Is", "I Can't", "The Computer or something outside of you failed", "They....." meaning you don't intend on taking responsibility for solving the problem.

  4. Give them your name, and tell them that you will personally handle the problem. Then do it.

  5. Your most loyal customers, WILL ALWAYS be those who had a problem, that you solved to their satisfaction, rather than the customers who never had a problem. Remember the importance of this distinction.

  6. After you offer to solve the problem, FOLLOW UP a few days into the future to ensure they are now satisfied. This is key.

  7. Shock value: Give them the option to leave you, with your apologies. Sometimes it is better to let them leave you, because some customers are just angry and mean about life, and life is too short to serve folks who hate themselves.

You may like these other stories...

Federal judge tosses IRS lawsuitsBernie Becker of The Hill reported that a federal judge sided with the IRS on Thursday, tossing out two lawsuits filed against the tax agency over its improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups...
It's a funny thing about referral sources: As an accountant you top the list as a key referral source for so many other professions. Insurance agents and financial advisors are just two of the kinds of professionals that...
SEC, Big Four Chinese affiliates make progress in talks over audit documentsMichael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 30Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links.
Nov 5Join CPA thought leader and peer reviewer Rob Cameron and learn ways to improve the outcome of your peer reviews while maximizing the value of your engagement workflow.
Nov 12This webcast presents basic principles of revenue recognition, including new ASU 2014-09 for the contract method. Also, CPAs in industries who want a refresher on revenue accounting standards will benefit.
Nov 18In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA tackles what to do when bad things happen to good spreadsheets.