Customer service is undoubtedly the backbone of all businesses; however, it is not practical to please every customer whom you deal with in your career.
When it comes down to settling monetary expenses, you might have a dispute with your customer as affairs that deal with capital are sensitive if not dealt with wisely.
It is always your task to clean up the conundrum that you are in with your customer or you’ll lose a client who could then spread a bad word about your firm.
Tips For SMEs to Steer Clear of Conflicts With Customers
After being in the industry for long, it is practically unrealistic that you haven’t come across a conflict with any of your clients.
You can’t evade customer conflict your whole career, mainly while calculating and settling dues.
Here are some tips for dealing with customers who are more likely to get engaged in a feud with you and ways to avoid it at all costs –
- Keep Calm Throughout the Conversation
Before getting involved in a feud with a client, put yourself in their shoes as to what made them react impulsively. A client would most certainly not be pleased to see you raise your voice.
The customer desires to be heard, and if you lose your temper, it implies that you’re not listening.
Staying composed would also help you consider the customer’s perspective, which is critical for conflict resolution.
If there is nothing you can do that would please the customer while settling dues, offer an empathetic, listening ear.
Allow the customer to open up to you, and they might even understand the money matters to be dealt with wisely from your perspective.
- Be Curious and Pay Attention
Paying attention and asking the right questions is essential if the customer is acting irrationally. Always be supportive of your arguments and try to work in favour of the client before discussing their dues.
Asking questions sophisticatedly without blaming can help you reach the root of the conflict and commence diffusing the situation.
Understand why your customer is having trouble with paying the dues or what made them lash out on you. This way, you both can reach a consensual agreement.
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- Own Up to Your Errors
If in the middle of the argument, you realise that you or one of your workers has committed an error, own up to it immediately.
Customers seek honesty and want to feel validated. Take responsibility for the error committed and assure the customer that the mistake would be catered towards immediately and that you would come up with a solution.
- Determine Your Pocket Expenses
It would be best if you calculated how it would affect your pocket to keep the customer happy and content. This would loosen up the customer’s attitude if he/she indulges in a conflict with you over settling dues.
Be resolute about it and understand the customer’s perspective and the situation they have at hand. This would help you in making the necessary expenditures from your pocket without hesitation.
If you still intend to sever ties with the former client, don’t be impulsive but end it maturely.
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- Negotiate a Two-Way resolution and Be Thankful
Once you’ve calculated how much you can potentially sacrifice to appease the client, confront them by asking what can you do on your behalf to reach on a conclusion.
Sometimes it can just be an apology, and you wouldn’t have to sacrifice your expenses at all. But if the conversation gets unproductive and full of vitriol, halt any further talks.
Calmly inform the customer that you’re going to step away from the conundrum until you both cool down. Buy yourself a couple of minutes to get your bearings and tackle the negotiations again.
Once everything is sorted out, thank the customer for bringing this problem to your attention. This would imply that you genuinely value their opinion and their business.
While running a business and discussing dues with your clients is not easy, it is even more vital that you maintain a healthy relationship with your client.
You must follow the above conflict resolution tips and put them to work at your firm the next time you encounter a conflict.
This would help you reach a mutual understanding and the customer’s perspective in paying up the dues. Your business would thrive and lead to a better customer satisfaction rate.