Well known Auckland photographer and Queensberry friend Bruce Gabites of Fine Photography, shared some of his thoughts about dealing with complaining clients with us recently.
He made some good points that I wanted to touch on quickly…
Firstly, he says that complaints are often communicated as personal attacks because people usually only complain when they’re really angry. So be objective and don’t take it personally.
Secondly, thank your customer for complaining. As well as making them feel better, it’s actually pretty appropriate. If they’re complaining about something you routinely do, chances are that other customers aren’t happy either. Think of the complaint as a positive and treat it as a great opportunity to make improvements in your business that could make all of your clients happier.
Another interesting point Bruce made was to suggest that you ask for feedback on everything you deliver to your clients. He reckons that a simple email or phone call to check that everything is OK goes a long way towards developing an army of clients advocating for your business. Also, it gives those who might not voluntarily give you feedback the opportunity to let you know what they think. And if they weren’t 100% satisfied you can put it right.
Usually you’ll find their dissatisfaction is to do with something small, or a misunderstanding that can be resolved very easily. So put your neck on the line and ask your clients if they’re totally satisfied.
That’s good advice – thanks for sharing with us, Bruce.
PS here’s one more… Do whatever you have to do to put the problem right, and then go that little bit further – a little more than they expected. Under-promise and over-deliver.
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