Client Not Happy With Your Work? Nine Steps To Turn The Situation Around

While a business’s goal is always to please its customers, there will likely be times when a customer will end up dissatisfied with the end result of a particular project or product. The way a business responds to this situation can often determine the future of that client relationship and whether or not they will continue to work with that business moving forward.

In order to ensure your client’s happiness with the final result—and save the relationship—consider the following advice. Here, nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council each recommend one step you should take to help resolve the issue when a client isn’t happy with you or your team’s work and discuss the impact it will have for the future.

1. Take A Proactive Approach

In my experience, it’s all about proactivity. The more proactive you can be in having uncomfortable but very necessary conversations, the better the outcome will be. Show them that you are on top of it and are aware of the areas of opportunity, but more importantly, that you have a game plan. Involve them in your next steps and educate them on the reasons why you are making a certain decision. Get ahead of the problem and ensure you have open communication lines with your clients so you can identify when issues may start arising ahead of time. Then, be honest with yourself in how things are moving along. Even as a client of different vendors myself, I’d take a proactive approach on an issue I may not even be aware of yet rather than a reactive response to a concern I can voice any day. – Magnus Simonarson, Consultwebs

2. Listen To Understand

If a client is unhappy with my team’s work, I would first listen carefully to their complaints and solicit further information until I had a complete picture. As a result, I’ll have a better idea of where we went wrong and how to prevent it in the future. Next, I’d sit down with the customer and figure out the best way to solve their problem together. To better assist the customer in reaching their goal, we may need to modify our strategy or methods, reconsider the breadth of the project or provide them with more materials and assistance. – John Rampton, Calendar

3. Gather Your Team’s Thoughts And Opinions

The first priority is to have a conversation with your team to assess their opinions on what is going on. Before any communication with the client, it is important to obtain their insight so you are having a balanced and fair conversation with them. You should be prepared with the client’s thoughts, your team’s thoughts, the scope expectation and where the differences lie. A prepared and well-thought-out response will allow you to find a way to improve the relationship or come to the conclusion to walk away. – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial


4. Take Responsibility For Any Concerns

Take responsibility by honestly addressing the issue that led to the client’s expression of concern. Dissatisfied clients often have a differing perspective on the needs of their projects. So, this is a good point to use when following up. Other times, it’s the business’s fault. In any case, taking responsibility for customer concerns is good for business. The gesture of you as the leader taking the time to reach out is a show of respect. Most clients will be happy to see this as they are human too. Not to mention, they appreciate knowing they are being heard. Leaders who recognize the importance of their customers’ needs can help turn a disgruntled-client situation into a positive, productive and mutually beneficial one. – Tonika Bruce, Lead Nicely, Inc.

5. Redo The Work At No Extra Charge

When a client isn’t happy with your work, tell them you’re willing to redo it and that they won’t be charged anything in addition to the amount they originally paid. Apologize for any inconvenience caused and talk about the new deadline. In most cases, clients are willing to give you a second chance if you are willing to make things work rather than arguing over the matter. Once that’s settled, start working on the areas that need improvement and try to deliver the project sooner than it’s expected. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

6. Pause And Determine Where It Went Wrong

It is important to pause and analyze when something has veered from the path you planned into uncharted territory. More often than not, misunderstandings happen during “gray areas” of the work process, when the process either wasn’t well defined, well followed or well explained to the client. It is always helpful to suggest an alignment call to find when the pivotal moment happened and what you can do to steer in the right direction again. These types of calls, if led well, usually help bring clarity to the issues, clear the air and foster bonds between teams. It is important, however, to run them as a facilitated discussion to avoid finger pointing and blame, which will certainly make matters worse. – Daria Gonzalez, Wunderdogs

7. Ask How You Can Make It Right

The best thing you can do to resolve an issue with an upset client is to ask, “How can we make this right?” Often, this simple question will get you closer to a solution than any other strategy. Showing you accept responsibility and want to help will win you favor, even if the person is upset. If you correct the error and give them the product or service they want, they may continue engaging with your brand. – Daman Jeet Singh, FunnelKit

8. Show The Impact Of Your Work

It’s wise to issue an apology for their dissatisfaction and consider going over your project or solution and creating a presentation or file showcasing your work and its results. Maybe add clear visuals that connect your efforts to outcomes. For example, if you created several blog posts that increased traffic by 10%, show that. Be sure not to be condescending or aggressive and approach it from a place of understanding. This will give you a chance to explain the process and show that your work had an impact, even if it wasn’t how the client imagined it would be. This step can have a positive impact on the client. It helps them to understand why you did what you did and how it impacted the project—and it could improve their viewpoint of the work and your team. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

9. Be Sure To Follow Up

After you help a client with their problem, don’t forget to follow up. You want to ensure the person is 100% happy with you and your team’s work. A quick email or call a week or two after the incident can help you build rapport and a lasting partnership, even if it didn’t begin on the best of terms. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *