What is your best tip for dealing with overbearing customers/clients?
The following answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Use Your “Spa Voice”
I have this thing I’ve always used — whether it’s for angry friends, bosses or teachers — called my “Spa Voice.” I soften my speaking, acknowledge what they’re saying and don’t raise my voice in a way that could be at all misconstrued. Doing this not only calms them down, but allows you to have the upper hand against their complaints as you’re giving them no fuel for their fire. – Rob Fulton, Exponential Black
2. Kill Them with Kindness
The customer is always right, especially with a consumer facing product like ours. You sometimes get overbearing and demanding users, who either nitpick or are just not happy with anything you do. I find it best to agree and listen. Most of the time they are unhappy or disjointed about something that’s happening in their personal life and they are taking it out on you. So just grin and bear it. – Joseph DiTomaso, AllTheRooms
3. Just Start
4. Keep Communication to Email
Unless it can be solved with a lightning quick phone call, keep the communication with the customer to email. Have an auto-reply only to that customer notifying that you check email three times a day, at 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. This will manage their expectations and give them time to figure out the issues themselves. – Adam Stillman, SparkReel
5. Fire Them
I’m not one for customers that are overbearing and take up way more time than they should. If you’ve pulled all the stops and worked with them to the point of insanity, it’s time to fire them. In the beginning you can’t do this. But once you develop stronger relationships you can choose. Sometimes it’s not worth your mental capacity to deal with overbearing customers. – John Rampton, Host
6. Set and Enforce Boundaries
Just because someone calls you on the weekend doesn’t mean you have to answer the phone. Just because they email you at night doesn’t mean you have to respond right way. If someone acts inappropriately in a meeting or call, politely excuse yourself. And don’t be afraid to end the relationship if you need to. Clients like that can poison your whole business. – Mary Ellen Slayter,Reputation Capital
7. Be Assertive and Reassuring
Be honest about the work and intentions, all while being assertive to highlight that you won’t be pushed around. You have to be clear that you have expertise and experience in your work and reassure them that the end result will come out as planned. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
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