We’ve all been there. A client calls, and what you thought was going to be a simple conversation to discuss details of a listing or showing quickly turns into something else entirely. When a client isn’t happy, you’re not happy, and we know you want to do everything in your power to fix it. Here are five tips that will help you turn angry clients into satisfied clients, without losing your sanity:
- Don’t take their anger personally
When someone starts yelling at you, it’s easy to go on the defensive. In fact, it’s probably most people’s first instinct. But you’ll be much better able to address your client’s issue if you pause, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that their concern isn’t about you personally. It’s not an attack on your capabilities as an individual; rather, they’re letting you know that something in the buying or selling process has not lived-up to their expectations, and it may not even be your fault.
- View angry clients as opportunities
It might feel like the minute a client becomes angry, all-is-lost and your relationship with this person is over. But quite the opposite is true! A client who is voicing concerns is a client who is presenting you with an opportunity to demonstrate how well you handle concerns. By keeping your cool and showing them you’re a level-headed professional dedicated to providing first-class service, you’ve got a great opportunity to earn their trust-and-admiration. There’s no better time to demonstrate your professionalism than when you’re under pressure.
- If you haven’t listened to an angry client long enough for them to apologize to you for complaining, you haven’t listened to them long enough
More than anything, angry clients want their concerns to be heard. They didn’t become upset out of the blue—something happened to create their distress, and they’re expressing it to you in the hopes that you can fix it. Listening to them is one of the best ways you can help them feel heard, which is crucial to creating strong interpersonal relationships in any setting, including business. Listening will also help you understand the root of the problem and what you can do to solve it.
- Offer the solution quickly
Once you’ve listened to your client’s concerns and understand what needs to be done to address them, don’t wait to offer the solution. If, for example, fixing the client’s concern will involve rescheduling a showing, find out which dates work best for the client and tell them you’ll reschedule the showing as soon as you get off the phone. Moving quickly to resolve the issue, rather than engaging in an unproductive back-and-forth with the client, can go a long way toward establishing your credibility.You’re showing them that you’re serious about fixing the problem and moving forward.
- Within every mistake lies opportunity
Use the challenge as a learning experience. Once you’ve listened to the client and addressed their concern, take a minute to evaluate what happened. What did you do well in dealing with this client’s anger? What could you improve on? Is there anything you can do to prevent similar concerns with future clients? The answers to these questions will help you deliver the best possible experience for your clients.