Every business owner deals with the occasional difficult client. Being able to handle those difficult clients goes a long way to your bottom line. After all, the overall costs of finding new clients is often more expensive than retaining current clients. As a business owner, you need to find a way to keep the difficult client happy. Here are five tips that can help avoid and handle the tough signing.
1. Be Prepared
Making sure you have all your ducks in a row can mean the difference if a signing is going to be good or not. Not being prepared can frustrate the client and bring unnecessary tension to the situation. You are a professional. You need to make sure you have communicated with the client, know the instructions, and know how to get to the location of the signing well in advance so there are less surprises. There will be less surprises when you do all you can to be prepared.
2. Courteous and Professional Conduct
This seems like an obvious point but evaluating your own conduct can be very difficult. If you are consistently dealing with tough clients have you ever stopped to ask yourself if you may be the problem? Are you doing the little things that you should be doing to be courteous and professional? Some basic questions to ask yourself:
• Are you arriving at your appointments on time?
• Are you finishing your appointments on time?
• Do you use language that is appropriate for business conversations?
• Is your dress appropriate for business meetings?
• If there is a problem are you communicating promptly and effectively with the client?
Following the golden rule is always good advice when working with other people. Courteous and professional conduct are at the base of good customer service. The answer doesn’t always have to be “yes” but all of your clients should be treated with respect. Having the confidence to evaluate your own conduct can help you provide better service to your client base.
3. Proactively Fix Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes. The client hired you to do a job. It is your responsibility to make sure that job is completed. Proactively fixing your mistakes shows you are responsible which may lead to more trust from your client. Telling your client a mistake was made is not a pleasant conversation. Having that conversation after fixing your mistake is slightly easier for all parties.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”
Saying “no” can actually avoid conflict. Most clients get frustrated or upset when an expectation they have is not met. If you are given an opportunity for a signing that will be hard for you to complete within the client’s expectations you may want to turn it down. It may be better to say “no” upfront then to end up with a frustrated client because you are not able to fulfill on a promise that you made.
5. Learn Resolution and Conflict Management Skills
Your learning should focus on more than the knowledge you need to be a mobile notary. Working with people is central to your career. Learn resolution and conflict management skills by reading blogs and articles or attending a professional training. There are many business communication training classes that cater specifically to the self employed and small business owners. Conflict management is a skill that can be learned.
Dealing with difficult clients has more to do with you than it does with your clients. Take responsibility for good customer service by following good practices and honestly evaluating conversations that did not end positively. Remember that good customer service can lead to referrals growing your business.