In a perfect world, all of your clients would be happy all of the time. However, all agencies will, at some point, come up against a bump in the road with client relationships. When this happens, what do you do? How we handle the ups and downs of running a business is challenging-- you have to be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice. First and foremost, project management platforms and Service Operations Automation systems like Accelo are great for keeping track of clients and scheduling a time to meet with each and every one of them. If you haven't yet signed up for an Accelo trial, you can start your free trial here.
According to research done by Zendesk, an unhappy client is 50% more likely to share about their experience than a happy client.
Negative client feedback is actually a good sign. No one is going to be happy all of the time, and if you hear from your clients it gives you an opportunity to turn the experience around. First, listen and hear the client's concerns. It’s important that the person feels heard. Then, work on the resolution.
Two words: pay attention. The longer you work with a client the easier it will be to anticipate your client’s needs. For example, does this client always want their invoice broken down a certain way? If you or an employee is having trouble with adjusting their work to satisfy specific needs, act quickly. Take notes on all the idiosyncrasies and set calendar events or alarm updates as reminders.
On the same note, checking in with or calling your clients regularly is a great way to get in front of a problem. When you begin working with someone new, you can also ask the client what their preferred communication schedule is. This will help avoid the trap of unsaid expectations. Know how often your client expects to hear from you.
Respond quickly. Respond even if you don’t have a resolution. Promptness shows the client that you hear them and are taking them seriously. In cases where you don’t have a resolution, you can suggest a plan of action and timeline for next steps. If that is you aren't ready to put forth a timeline, let them know that you will circle back with your team and then tell them when they should expect to hear from you again. We also suggest moving longer conversations offline. Phone calls and meetings lend themselves well for resolution, while also promise less chance of miscommunication. On a call, you can let the conversation flow and pivot when necessary.
Client confrontation is common, and that's why it's useful to know how to stay one step ahead. Try some of these tactics and see how your client relationships improve for the better.