If you have tried a thousand things and you no longer know what to do to satisfy those difficult clients, here is a guide that will help you.
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The goal of the freelancer, entrepreneur or service provider can be summed up in this basic algorithm: get a customer, get a temporary job, work fast, get your pay, start over.
To achieve that goal you should not make your client angry. But there is a problem. Some clients may always find their hair in the soup. It doesn't matter if you are the best freelance or if you have more than a decade of experience. You can achieve your goals with the skills of Albert Einstein and the creativity of Leonardo Da Vinci, offering impeccable services and yet, there may be one or two clients that you can simply never please.
It is not to worry. Science assures us that these seven methods can help calm your clients' anger and also your levels of frustration.
1. Calm the inner devil
Suppose an angry customer calls you and starts shouting about how dissatisfied your service is. Most people react automatically and shout back. Do not do it. Don't say a word and don't interrupt it. Let your client let off steam.
Research shows that the ability to think critically and make intelligent decisions collapses when you allow anger to control your actions.
These conversations become a contest of endless shouts that leave both with a bad taste and irreconcilable situation. These interactions also rule out any possibility of working together in the future.
Now that you are calm, make a conscious attempt to listen to your client while she or he lists everything you did not like. It is proven that in this way you can influence your customers and please them. Beyond keeping calm and giving someone your full attention, it requires your resistance, patience and concentration. Even FBI hostage negotiators do it to lessen incidents and save lives.
Writing notes while listening could help you. This assures you that you will not forget the important details to think about possible solutions. Freelancers who handle the art of listening usually have a stronger year of work.
3. Ask questions
Instead of getting defensive and trying to take your guilt away, ask open-ended questions such as: what would you like me to do? Or how would you like me to remedy this situation? It would be a good start. This will relax your client and create the strong impression that you are on his side.
Once you learn the way your client wants the errors to be corrected, you will be able to balance your expenses. Thank him for the feedback and apologize for the setbacks.
4. Try to be funny but carefully
Humor can reduce tension in high pressure situations, according to the American Psychological Association. Professionals believe that this can help restore a more balanced perspective. Think of your client as a unicellular way of life, try to imagine what it would be like. Imagine an amoeba sitting at a desk and talking on the phone. Doing this could help with your anger and lead you to a mutually agreeable resolution.
We have all heard that laughter is the best medicine. It relieves stress, elevates mood, improves creativity and makes you more resistant. Just be careful not to be sarcastic with your clients because you could feel assaulted and interpret it as an attitude of evasion.
5. Don't take it personal
Realize that your client is not trying to kill you. The anger he is feeling has little to do with you on a personal level, so don't give yourself the trouble. Your client disagrees with the services you or your staff performed. But is the problem necessarily with you? Do not.
In fact there are times that another person's anger has nothing to do with you at all. Recognizing this truth can have a great influence on your abilities to face a situation.
6. Know when to disengage
According to the professor and anger researcher Ryan Martin, “in any situation with an excessively angry person, the time comes when you must flee.” As president of the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, he studies many facets of the anger experience. This includes its consequences and the way people express it on the internet.
There are reasons why disengaging could be the most intelligent movement. First, you must remain safe and protect yourself. Second, the probability of obtaining a positive result is minimal compared to the situation.
Your client may be so angry that a healthy and reasonable conversation is simply not possible at that time. If that is the case, it is best to suggest, “We can talk about this later, when we are both calmer.” After that, go away.
7. Let your client have the last word
This does not end until the conversation concludes. Give a good impression of yourself by letting your client have the last word. If it is necessary to offer a final comment, be careful not to be defensive. It is likely that with your last words you can see who is right.
Clinical psychologist Albert J. Bernstein says this is a good way to return the client to “attack mode” and ruin the progress you have made. In his book, “Dinosaur Brains: Dealing With ALL THOSE Impossible People at Work,” the brain behavior behind confrontations is explained and productive ways of handling difficult discussions at work are suggested.