How to Satisfy the “Crazy” Clients.
How do you react to clients who have expectations that you are not aware of or expectations that you think are unreasonable? In the previous posts in this series, we talked about how clients get their expectations from four different sources:
– The first exposure to the type of product or service you offer
– Confusion caused by your business’ complicated structures
– Poor communication between you and the client
Once you understand these four sources, you can better understand how to satisfy more of your clients.
If you ever visit an online photography forum or hang out with a group of photographers, you’ll hear multiple stories of “crazy clients.” We all like to tell stories about the “insane requests” clients have. The forums and community groups are our version of office water coolers.
Recently, our staff made a decision to stop using the term “crazy” for any client who seems difficult to work with. By looking at the root of the request – or the real reason why the client is disappointed – we found that it often resulted from an expectation the client had. By delivering complete information and being willing to work with the client, we could diffuse any tensions. And often we can transform an irate client into a passionate evangelist for our business!
When you have a defensive attitude toward difficult clients, these feelings eventually spill over into your interactions with your best clients. Ultimately, this attitude festers and causes you to give less service to every client. This will destroy your business.
When you’re willing to humble yourself and understand your clients’ needs and expectations, you will rectify the issues much faster and retain their business. If you apply this attitude to every client, when that person who truly is difficult to work with comes along, you’ll be able to handle them with ease and diffuse stress. Maybe you’ll even end up creating another evangelist for your art and services!
What do you think? Comment below and I’ll respond!
- What was the last thing you did to turn a potentially stressful situation with a client into pleasant ending?
- Are you ever able to please clients with words and proper communication rather than pleasing them by giving away complementary or discounted goods and/or services?
About the Author
Peter Carlson stays a busy man. Along with his wife Whitney, he owns two full-time photography businesses: Dove Wedding Photography and The Collection. Peter & Whitney have also been growing an educational resource called The Nashville Photography Class . On top of all of this, Peter is a full-time church youth director and the father to an energetic baby boy.