As photographers we often deal with unhappy clients. Sometimes we can really understand the issue with our final outcome and where the client is coming from. But rather often than not we really can’t see anything wrong with our images which makes it really difficult for us to deal with the clients’ feedback! We could get angry and argue with the client over our point of view, however this will lead nowhere. An unhappy client is an unhappy client, so we better suck it up and handle this conflict in a professional mature & effective way.
Here are 6 steps that will help you deal professionally and effectively with unhappy clients and hopefully will turn them into happy lovey-dovey clients recommending you to all their friends and acquaintances 😉
#1 Be calm.
Never respond to an unhappy client when you’re angry. Take your time to calm down, analyze the situation, try coming up with solutions to fix the issue and then respond to your client in a professional way suggesting solutions for your way forward.
#2 Talk to them.
A simple phone call could save you a hell lot of unproductive back & forth emails blaming each other. Pick up the phone, talk to them and try to contain them.
#3 Tell them you understand.
Admitting that you understand their situation doesn’t necessarily indicate that you’ve done something wrong! just let them know that you understand why they’re angry because they had different expectations, clear the air for a constructive calm discussion that will lead to a solution making you both happy.
#4 How can you help?
Now that you’ve discussed the issue with your client and understand where the problem is coming from, ask them how you could help fix it. Be understanding and supportive to your client and they will really appreciate you and even could let go of some of their comments to be flexible with you as well.
#5 Do your best to fix it.
Take your client’s comments seriously and really try hard to accommodate them as much as you can even if that means you will have to get out of your way a little bit for them. Remember clients don’t pay you to add images that you love to your portfolio, they pay you for them to be satisfied with the work even if it’s not that much to your liking.
#6 Don’t leave them until they thank you!
Once you’ve fixed the issue have a final phone call or meeting with your client making sure that everything is OK with them and that they’re now happy with the outcome. We guarantee that if you did that you will gain a new loyal client that will market you whenever they get the opportunity to do so and they will end up thanking you for all your efforts 🙂
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