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Jan Copley
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Atticus, Inc.

530 South Lake Avenue, Suite 250
Pasadena, CA 91101
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What Do You Do if You Have an Unhappy Client?

June 3, 2011

Filed under: Clients — @ 12:52 pm

Try as we might, sometimes we have unhappy clients.

Every business does. The Los Angeles Times has a weekly “Small Business Advice” column in its business section. In the May 30 edition, a reader asked about training employees to handle “flak” from unhappy customers. The advice was good: make sure the employees fully understand the customer’s complaint and acknowledge it. Bosses (and lawyers) should do the same thing.

I found that this was a good way to calm down someone who was upset. I also used a second technique: I would send some token of apology to the client. There’s a new currency in this world: Starbucks gift cards! So, if you have an unhappy client, for whatever reason, send a handwritten note of apology and include a gift card. The client will appreciate the recognition of his or her problem and remember you fondly while he or she sips his or her nonfat extra dry cappuccino. And, it will give you a better chance of maintaining the client relationship.

Please let me know if this tip is helpful to you!

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