Worst Case Scenario: How to Deal With a Difficult Client

Deal with a difficult client

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

It’s going to happen to you one day. You’re going to face a difficult client and nothing you do or say is going to calm them down. Your carefully crafted customer service procedure just won’t work, and you just don’t know what to do next. 

And apart from all the worry about the potential loss of custom, or the horrendously bad review coming your way, you’re also concerned about more difficult clients coming your way. It’s only natural to think the worst! However, this worst-case scenario can be easily navigated when you know just how much to give and take. 

Don’t Get Emotions Involved

It’s hard not to when someone is criticizing your company for being and doing the worst, but you shouldn’t ever get emotions involved when dealing with a difficult client. Not only does this allow you to keep your head when it matters most, but it prevents the person you’re talking to using your reaction against you. 

You never know what you might end up saying when tempers are flaring, and how that could be taken by someone who already has an agenda. 

SEE ALSO: What to Do if Your Wife Is Actually Cheating?

Don’t Promise Them Too Much

It’s easy to want to overcompensate when someone charges in with a problem they’re angry about. You want them to calm down and think of your business in a good light again, and you’re desperate to create some goodwill at the moment. 

However, when you promise too much, you put yourself out of pocket, and you’re more likely to let the client down by being unable to deliver. 

So take a standard response here, follow the usual customer service protocol, and don’t try to capture them as a customer again. You might lose them, you might not, but in the long run it won’t really matter! 

Don’t Give Up on an Invoice

If you’ve not been paid, and you’ve sent through quite a few final reminders, don’t give up on the invoice in question. From your emails bouncing to being outright ignored, a client has to pay up if they’ve accepted the services you’ve delivered to them.

You may not want to resort to legal help until you really have to, but if the client you’re trying to get in contact with has disappeared, you can trace a person to ensure the message actually gets through to them. If you’re still unable to secure payment, now it’s time to bring in the law. 

Add What You’ve Learned to Your Conflict Plan

A conflict plan is essential in the future. If you ever have to deal with a difficult client again, you can use what you learned here to smooth the process and reach a resolution far sooner. Everyone can then refer to the plan if need be, and you won’t have to worry about slip-ups from your employees. 

Dealing with a difficult client won’t ever be easy. But it’s not a disaster either. Use these tips to allow your business to stay ahead.