Client Not Happy With Your Work? Nine Steps To Turn The Situation Around

While a company’s goal is always to please its customers, there will likely be times when a customer ends up unsatisfied with the end result of a particular project or product. How a company responds to this situation can often determine the future of that customer relationship and whether or not they will continue to work with that business moving forward.

In order to ensure your client’s happiness with the end result, and save the relationship, keep the following tips in mind. Here, nine members of the Young Entrepreneur Council each recommend one step you should take to help resolve the issue when a client is unhappy with your or your team’s work and discuss the impact it will have for the future.

1. Take a proactive approach

In my experience, it’s all about being proactive. The more proactive you are in having uncomfortable but much-needed conversations, the better the outcome. Show them that you’re on top and that you know the areas of opportunity, but most importantly, that you have a game plan. Involve them in your next steps and educate them about why you are making a certain decision. Get up front with the problem and make sure you have open lines of communication with your customers so you can identify early when problems may start to arise. Then be honest with yourself about how things are going. Even as a customer of different providers, I would take a proactive approach to a problem that I may not even know about much more than a reactive response to a concern that I might express on any given day. – Magnus Simonarson, Consultwebs

2. Listen to understand

If a client was unhappy with my team’s work, I would first listen carefully to their complaints and ask for more information until I had a complete picture. As a result, I will have a better idea of ​​where we went wrong and how to prevent it in the future. I would then sit down with the customer and figure out the best way to solve their problem together. To better help the customer achieve their goal, we may need to modify our strategy or methods, reconsider the scope of the project, or provide more materials and support. – John Rampton, Calendar

3. Gather your team’s thoughts and opinions

The first priority is to have a conversation with your team to gauge their views on what’s going on. Before any communication with the customer, it is important to get their perspective so that you have a balanced and fair conversation with them. You need to be prepared with the client’s thoughts, your team’s thoughts, scope expectations and where the differences lie. A prepared and well-thought-out response will allow you to find a way to improve the relationship or come to the conclusion of walking away. – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial

4. Take responsibility for any concerns

Take responsibility by honestly addressing the issue that led to the customer’s expression of concern. Dissatisfied customers often have a different perspective on their project needs. So this is a good point to follow up on. Other times, the business is to blame. In any case, taking responsibility for customer concerns is good for business. The gesture of you as a leader taking the time to reach out is a sign of respect. Most customers will be happy to see this as they are human too. Not to mention, they appreciate being heard. Leaders who recognize the importance of their customers’ needs can help turn an unhappy customer situation into a positive, productive, and mutually beneficial one. – Tonika Bruce, Lead Nicely, Inc.

5. Redo the job at no extra charge

When a client is not satisfied with your work, tell them that you are willing to redo it and that they will not be charged anything more than what they originally paid. Apologies for the inconvenience and discuss the new deadline. In most cases, customers are willing to give you a second chance if you’re willing to make things work instead of arguing about it. Once this is resolved, start working on the areas that need improvement and try to deliver the project earlier than expected. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

6. Stop and determine where it went wrong

It’s important to pause and analyze when something has veered off the path you planned into uncharted territory. Most often, misunderstandings occur during the “grey areas” of the work process, when the process was not well defined, well followed or well explained to the client. It’s always helpful to suggest an alignment call to find when the turning point happened and what you can do to get back in the right direction. These types of calls, if conducted well, usually help clarify issues, clear the air, and foster bonds between teams. It is important, however, to use them as a facilitated discussion to avoid finger-pointing and blame, which will certainly make things worse. – Daria Gonzalez, Wunderdogs

7. Ask how you can do it right

The best thing you can do to solve a problem with an upset customer is to ask yourself, “How can we make this right?” Often this simple question will get you closer to a solution than any other strategy. Showing that you accept responsibility and want to help will win you over, even if the person is upset. If you fix the error and give them the product or service they want, they may continue to engage with your brand. – Daman Jeet Singh, FunnelKit

8. Show the impact of your work

It is wise to apologize for your dissatisfaction and consider revising your project or solution and creating a presentation or file that showcases your work and results. Perhaps add clear visuals that connect your efforts to results. For example, if you created several blog posts that increased traffic by 10%, show that. Be sure not to be condescending or pushy and approach it from a place of understanding. This will give you a chance to explain the process and show that your work made an impact, even if it wasn’t what the client imagined it would be. This step can have a positive impact on the customer. It helps them understand why you did what you did and how it affected the project, and it could improve their view of the work and your team. – Syed Balkhi, WPB Beginner

9. Make sure you follow up

After helping a customer with their problem, don’t forget to follow up. You want to make sure the person is 100% happy with you and your team’s work. A quick email or phone call a week or two after the incident can help you build a lasting relationship and partnership, even if it didn’t start off on the best of terms. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

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When providing a service or product, it is not always possible to please each and every client that you work with. Unfortunately, this is a reality that all entrepreneurs, business owners and service providers are faced with. Fortunately, if you learn how to use the situation to improve upon your work and value, the circumstance can result in a positive outcome. At Ikaroa, we believe it is possible to turn a tough situation into a success story for your business. Here are nine steps to turn the situation around when clients are not happy with your work.

1. Listen: Listen to your clients and take their feedback on board. Ask for more information about their specific issues and concerns in order to gain a clearer understanding of the situation.

2. Apologize: Apologize for the client’s unsatisfactory experience regardless of the cause of issue. Admit that they had a right to be displeased and apologize for not providing them with the quality and value they deserved.

3. Make an Action Plan: Create an action plan to address the issues raised. Present clients with practical solutions to rectify the problems and also explain the steps you will take to ensure they won’t happen again.

4. Take Responsibility: Take responsibility for the mistake and accept the blame. Showing clients that you are willing to take ownership is a major plus and a great way to show your integrity.

5. Offer a Solution: Offer the client a solution that will address their concerns and provide them with the value they are looking for. If possible, offer a refund, credit, or another form of compensation.

6. Follow Through: Ensure that all of the steps in the action plan are followed through, complete the work to the client’s satisfaction as quickly as possible.

7. Show your Appreciation: Show your appreciation for their feedback, letting them know that their input helps you improve and develop better products or services.

8. Seek Ways to Improve: Seek ways to improve the current situation. If a mistake was made, take steps to ensure it will not happen again.

9. Follow-up: Follow up with the client to see if the changes implemented have solved their issue, ask if they have any additional feedback.

At Ikaroa we understand that mistakes can happen, but with the right approach your business can recover and become even stronger. By using these nine tips, you’ll be well on your way to turning a challenging situation around and gaining back the trust of your clients.


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