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Episode from the podcastResilient by Design with Rebecca Hay

67. How to deal with unhappy clients

Released Thursday, 8th July 2021
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While running a business, especially a service-based business, we've all encountered unsatisfied, unhappy, and difficult clients. Nobody is perfect, and dealing with someone who is upset can get the best of us. So in this episode, I'll be talking all about how to deal with unhappy clients, sharing some of my recent experiences, and my tips on how to diffuse an unsatisfied client situation. 
When I started my business, I used to take everything SUPER personally. Every slightly negative comment made me second guess everything about myself and what I was doing, and it started to sour my relationship with my clients in my own mind. We as creative entrepreneurs have a tendency to get defensive. But here's something we have to remember, when a client has a problem or is unhappy with something, it has nothing to do with us and everything to do with them. 
More often than not, clients have the tendency to make mountains out of molehills especially if you work in residential construction/decor because they are emotional invested in the outcome. Our goal as service-based businesses is to always help the client fix any issues and leave happy so that they give amazing referrals. 
In this episode, I share the exact wording I used in a recent client email to deescalate a situation and give my team time to troubleshoot while ensuring the client felt like we listened to them. I also share 5 tips that have worked for me whenever I hear from an unhappy client. 
  1. Stop and don't react immediately. Don't get defensive and put yourself in your clients' shoes.
  2. Clarify and identify the problem with your client. Don't try to solve it right away - it may not be the best way!
  3. Troubleshoot a solution - best done behind the scenes. Sometimes it's an easy fix if you're given time to think it through.
  4. Reassure your client that you're there until the end to problem solve. You are a team!
  5. Apologize respectfully if the issue was something that you did wrong. Accountability is everything! 
After having experienced a renovation firsthand with the first phase of #HAYHOMERENO, I can relate to the frustrations that my clients experience, and sometimes just listening and acknowledging the issues or points of frustration is enough to start working toward a resolution. 

If you haven't watched the #HAYHOMERENO series on YouTube. Click here to watch.   Did I miss any tips that have been game-changers when dealing with unhappy clients? Leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram.   Click here and join our Designer Meet-up Community on Facebook. #collaborationnotcompetition