Many of us have to deal with angry or unhappy clients as part of our roles, and it’s never easy. But if we know what to say and, more importantly, how to say it, we may be able to save the situation. In fact, we can even end up with a better relationship with our client than we had before. So how do you turn a challenge into an opportunity?

Turning a Challenge into an Opportunity

1. Make Your Customer Feel Heard.

Once you’re aware that your client is unhappy then your first priority is to put yourself into a customer service mindset. Listen actively! 

Resist the temptation to try to solve the situation right away, or to jump to conclusions about what happened. Instead, let your client tell you his story. As he’s talking, don’t plan out what you’re going to say when he’s done – this isn’t active listening!

2. Damage Control – Protect Your Brand from Negative Mentions.

Repairing a damaged reputation begins with an accurate assessment:  Who are you? What did you do or not do? What must be done to correct it?

Put your damage control plan into action. Whether you need to reach out to specific people or publish information online, you have to follow through. And this must become part of the ‘new’ you. Awake, instinctive, and disciplined behavior will restore your reputation.

3. Build a Positive Reputation.

Why is having a good reputation important?

Reputation is important in business because it isn’t just one aspect of your business. It is made up of all of the aspects of your business. It doesn’t affect one area of your business, it permeates and influences all aspects of your business. 

Good Begets Good.

It’s as simple as the more people you know, and the more people who like you, the more opportunities you will have to spread the word about your business, which in turn increases the number of people who know and like you. 

4. Seize the Opportunity for Improvement.

Leadership is more than just showing a way to others. A leader should be able to challenge the existing process and seize opportunities if deemed necessary. As a leader, you should follow through seizing every opportunity – good or bad. Opportunities do not come knocking at your door. One should grab it as soon as they are identified. 

An unhappy customer is not what we want. But we can definitely learn from the experience. So the next time you have an unhappy customer on your hands, you can smile and say:“Thank you for reaching out. Let me give you my full attention.” and mean it.