At Advice4business we look at ways to identify dissatisfied clients and provide tips on how to effectively deal with their issues.

In other words, a client perceives value when the quality of the service is greater than the cost.

Introducing client satisfaction surveys will help in identifying dissatisfied clients and give you a strong indication of areas of improvement in your business.

While this will capture the vocal clients, how do you identify those dissatisfied clients who do not bother to complete the survey or just “vote with their feet” and do not come back?

A simple way to spot dissatisfied clients is to pay attention to the signals you are given such as heavy sighing, avoiding phone calls and letters, or making sarcastic comments. Clients who are reluctant to interact with you and your team members are often unhappy with service but are reluctant to say anything directly.

Unfortunately, while these clients are reluctant to say anything to you, they are not so shy in saying it to their friends and family who will also happily pass on negative press.

To stop this negative publicity, it becomes even more important to clearly focus on managing client expectations at the start of each job. A complaint resolution process will deal with issues after a complaint is made, but you and your team can deal with issues of dissatisfaction before they get to that point. Your prompt action will ensure you recover the situation and will, in many cases, turn this dissatisfied client into a loyal one who will actively refer you new business. We use a simple process to deal with issues of dissatisfaction before they become complaints:

  • Deal with the issue as soon as you spot the clue
  • In a non-confrontational way, ask the client if there is an issue e.g. “You seem a bit hesitant, what concerns do you have?”
  • Then take a L.E.A.P!
  • Listen to their concerns
  • Empathise with their issues in a non-condescending manner
  • Acknowledge their concerns (and if appropriate, apologise)
  • Provide a solution to address their concern.

Encouraging your staff to manage expectations and address dissatisfaction before it turns into a complaint will ensure you have happy clients who actively promote your business. Remember that a client who complains is a great reminder of ways you can improve.

“Working with Gary is like having a supportive business partner – he’s there no matter what. I know without doubt, I wouldn’t have the company I have today without his tireless support over the years.”
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