How to Handle High-Maintenance Clients
Guest Blogger Kendall Meaders
During tax season, accountants often encounter angry and upset clients. Here are a few ways to handle the high-maintenance clients professionally, and not let them monopolize your time:
- Empathize, don’t sympathize- Let your clients know you care, but that you cannot feel sorry for them. Business owners often hate taxes and complain a little too often. Giving the business owner empathy, and letting them know you've been in the same seat as them before is important. Giving them tips on how to fix their problems will create a unique bond with the client as well. Taxes are usually the last thing a business owner wants to deal with at the end of their day, so it is important to set boundaries. Setting appointments, deadlines, and restrictions throughout tax season keeps your client organized and on time, avoiding frustration.
- Don’t Fight Back- Always remember that the anger a client shows you likely comes from the stress they're feeling. Don't respond in kind, it's not productive. If you lose your temper or are rude to them you could possibly lose their business. Getting frustrated while filing taxes is common, especially when your company is having to pay in, so stay calm if a rude business owner loses his cool for a couple minutes. Try listening, rather than rushing the client.
- Don’t Hide Behind the Rule Book- Clients don't care to hear about company policy. If you tell your client, "Oh, that's against company policy, there is nothing I can do," it will sound like an excuse to their ears. Try brainstorming with your client for possible solutions. If you can't find any, at least explain to the client why it is that you're unable to do what they're requesting. This can help diffuse the situation.
- Educate Customers- When you’re tired of hearing the constant complaining about pricing from customers, educate them. It’s easy to make a Pricing Tab on your website clearly defining the prices, or to make an Infographic so that it is in bold print. Your customers will appreciate this.
These are just a couple tips to help keep you on track with your clients, even when they get difficult to help.
What have you found to be good ways to deal with upset clients? Let us know in the comments below.