We’ve all been the cranky customer at one time or another: unsatisfied with the service we’re received, desiring to talk to that one person who could resolve the problem. Maybe we’ve been belligerent, pounding on the counter and demanding a resolution. Or perhaps we’ve been calm yet resolute in getting a desired response. Whatever type of dissatisfied customer you may have been, one thing is certain—you wanted a timely and positive outcome.
As a small business owner you are certain to encounter, at some time in your career, a dissatisfied client who wants you to resolve a problem for them. You could point to the door and tell the cranky customer to be on their unmerry way, but that isn’t the best approach, and it won’t generate new business for you (imagine how you would have felt at such a response!). While there may not be a happily-ever-after to your cranky customer story, there are ways you can mitigate the problem and relieve some of the tension. We suggest the following 5 tips on dealing with unhappy clients:
1. Think like a client
You took a moment in the first paragraph of this article to remember your experiences as a dissatisfied customer. That’s an invaluable exercise, allowing you to feel the aggravation your client might feel as they approach you with a problem. It’s important to sympathize with their frustrations and initiate, as much as you can, what they would perceive as a positive resolution to their issue. Taking a stroll, even a short one, in your clients’ shoes might help you to piece together a more satisfying resolution.
2. Act like a friend
In the business world we sometimes get wrapped up in our professional image and forget that clients want to be treated like people and not business transactions. While it’s important that we retain a professional image and not get too personal, a friendly and personable approach to your client/accountant relationship is highly recommended.
3. Perform like a professional
Regardless of how upset your client becomes, it’s important that you remain calm and not become emotional yourself. Respond like a professional and you’ll have no regrets. It will also prevent the situation from escalating.
4. Save the day now and then
Sometimes you’ll have a client who will need you to go above and beyond the call of duty. If you’ve applied tips one through three, you should be able to look at the situation objectively and determine whether or not it’s in your and your client’s best interests to help out. This may require you to reorder tasks and priorities or work late. While you don’t want to make it a habit to continually “rescue” your clients, you should be able to save the day now and then.
5. And comp when you have to
Nobody’s perfect; perhaps your client’s dissatisfaction is justified in some way. Refusing to admit your mistake will not do you or your client any favors. If you find yourself at fault, even if it’s minimal, you should compensate your client by providing a discount or an additional service for free. It’s amazing how acknowledging your fallibility can earn a client’s loyalty and respect.
Not every unhappy client can be magically transformed into a satisfied customer, but if you attempt to respond to their concerns in a reasonable and courteous manner, you’ll find the situation becomes much more manageable.
Increase Your Income and Your Earning Potential
Becoming a tax preparer enables you to increase your competitive advantage and your earning potential while helping create more satisfied clients! And the training necessary to become a tax preparer isn’t as long and painful as you might expect. Universal Accounting Center has made it easy.
Our Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) program includes the following:
- Informative video instruction
- Full 1040 training
- Full business return (1065, 1120, 1120S) training
- One year follow-up Support from expert tax preparers
Most tax preparation courses include books and some worksheets. Our training uses engaging and entertaining tax preparers who give practical advice on tax issues; they also provide real-world solutions that will give you the edge in productivity and profitability.
Because the IRS has imposed stricter regulations on paid tax preparers, they have opened the door to a narrower margin of individuals willing to fulfill requirements which include additional training and required testing. Universal is an IRS-approved Continuing Education Provider, and the Professional Tax Preparer program will enable you to become proficient in tax preparation while helping you comply with new IRS regulations. Call Universal at 1-877-833-7909 to enroll today!