How to deal with a difficult client

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No matter how good you are at being in business, there will that day where you are going to get the customer who’s just impossible to deal with.  Maybe they’re rude, maybe they’re needlessly picky, or maybe they’re just really difficult to deal with.  Whatever makes them difficult for you, here are some tips to get through those interactions that won’t leave you feeling like a doormat.

How to deal with a bad client attitude

When that frustrating client starts getting aggressive or they start insulting you or reminding you that you “work for” them, we all can get caught up in the heat of the moment.  But to save your business, you need to be able to bite back that reply and try this instead:

  • Take a moment to step away from the conversation and breathe: Since this often happens during IMing or through an email, you can take a minute to literally walk away from the conversation itself.  Do some deep breathing, put your head between your knees, meditate, whatever else makes you feel calmer.  Do this as soon as you feel the anger start to creep up.
  • Separate the emotion from the task: The emotions and the task that your client is asking of you are two different things.  Carefully separate the two and make sure that you understand the task they are expecting. Clarify if you need to.
  • Focus on the facts: Yes, you’re angry and insulted at how they’re treating you.  But, keep all of that out of your replies and questions and future communications with them. Focus on the facts of the task or situation and don’t acknowledge anything else.  Not only will it protect you, but it’ll also make them cranky since you aren’t rising their attacks!
  • Let it go: When the communication is done (or the order, if it’s continuous) allow yourself to feel what you need to feel.  Acknowledge the feelings, process them, and then let them go.  Separate your professional feelings from your personal ones and close that chapter in your mind.

What to learn from the experience

No matter how many times this happens it’s important to take away a few things from each experience so that you can keep moving forward.

  • You are good at what you do: No matter how harsh they are or what kind of awful things they are saying, you are good at what you do.  Always remember that.
  • You can’t please everyone: As I said in the beginning, you can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try.  Some people are just going to be difficult and impossible to deal with.  It isn’t on you.

The thing is, dealing with a difficult customer is one of those things that you just have to learn the hard way.  No matter how many books you read, or how many people offer you advice, it’s always hard to go through your first time.  To save yourself frustration, please save this blog post so that you can come back to it for guidance.  You got this!

Business content writing

Kelterss View All →

Kelterss is an experienced freelance content writer and a published author based in New Brunswick, Canada. She writes website content, blog posts, and product descriptions for customers worldwide. Kelterss specializes in writing about mental health, fitness, and dog behaviour. Freelancing since 2014, Kelterss has earned over 3,200 reviews and has a 4.9/5-star rating.

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