06 Jul How to Defuse a Client Freakout
Written by Karl Sakas
We’ve all been there — a client calls, frustrated or even angry about something that happened, and he blames your agency. Often, it’s not your fault, but that’s the last thing your client wants to hear right then.
No agency can function without clients, but when this happens regularly, it can make you want to quit. That’s true whether you run a small agency and work with many clients directly, or if you run a larger agency and you’re coaching your team on how to handle things when a client freaks out.
To put things into perspective, client freakouts are a common problem at agencies. In my experience as an agency consultant, most agencies experience at least a few client freakouts a year. This article will help you defuse them — and start finding ways to keep them from happening so often in the future.
Remember that this is about them, not you.
The first step is to recognize that this is about them, not you. If they’ve reached out — because you’re their contact or because they’ve chosen to escalate above one of your employees — this is your opportunity to save the day.
Marketing expert Jay Baer writes, “People who complain put in the effort to register their opinions, which is much better than the silent frustration and apathy of the unimpressed middle.”
Focus on helping them feel heard, helping them calm down, and figuring out how you can resolve things. According to research by Zendesk, an unhappy client is 50% more likely to share about their experience than a happy client — so do your best to turn things around.
Get the client on the phone.
Shift the conversation from email (or text message or social media) to a phone call as soon as possible. You’ll have fewer miscommunications via phone — and you can adjust what you say as the conversation unfolds.
If a client cold calls you without notice to unload about a problem, take notes to keep track of what he said. And if he calls and leaves a voicemail, call him back the same day.
Don’t interrupt — let them vent their concerns.
People want to feel heard — so if a client calls sounding upset, let him talk. If you interrupt him, he’ll get more frustrated.
Take notes on what the client shares, since you’ll want to recap his concerns later in the call. View Full Article >>