A terse email, a frustrated sigh or an irate voicemail – these can all be signs that a client is merely disappointed or downright outraged about something. Though you may feel a bristle of annoyance yourself, it’s up to you to handle the situation professionally. Your clients want to be heard and understood – especially when they’re upset.

When it comes to unhappy clients, a post from Lime CRM says you have a chance to turn them into loyal brand ambassadors for your promo business. We share the company’s ideas for handling displeased customers in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Keep your cool. If you take their criticism or complaints personally, you might become defensive. This can only make the situation worse, the post says. Instead, keep your wits about you and stay calm. Try rehearsing your approach for when you get a call or email from an unhappy client. This can help you better manage the situation and help your client as best as possible.

Just listen. The client is unhappy for a reason, and their frustration likely didn’t start suddenly. They probably experienced several issues that led to this point, and now they just want to get it all out. The post recommends letting the client say what they need to say. Don’t interrupt them or give in to your instinct to defend your business. Just hear them out.

Validate their emotions. Once the unhappy client has let off some steam, let them know you take their concerns seriously. Whether they receive their products late, the logo looks off or they have some other issue, explain that you’re sorry they’re upset and that you understand.

Ask what you can do. The next step, according to the post, is to solve the problem. Keep in mind you don’t need to have a solution right away. Instead, ask the client how they’d like to see the situation handled. This gives them a sense of control, the post says, and you get a glimpse at what the client requires to compensate them for what has happened.

Get to the root of the issue. Every promo order has multiple touchpoints. Diligently go through the client’s order. For example, did you notice they brought up a concern early in the process? Review the communication and loop in any colleagues as necessary. It’s important to understand what went wrong so you can keep it from happening in the future.

Pay extra special attention going forward. Once you have done everything in your power to solve the problem, the post recommends that you continue to monitor the relationship. This shows that you really care about the client and that you want them to be satisfied. It also allows you to deal with any lingering irritations and avoid the situation flaring up again.

It’s never easy dealing with unhappy clients, but they can ultimately help you improve your promo company. When you understand what didn’t go so well, you can take steps to improve things for the next time.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Lime CRM, a software that simplifies the workday for marketing, sales and support teams.