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Thread: How to Approach a Difficult Client I know is Wrong

  1. #11
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    Originally Posted by LHGirl
    I wouldn't send that email, but I'd make notes in your files about it. That the microwave was never used, that the dessert was asked for at a different time, etc.

    I'd simply thank the client for her business and for her feedback, and wish her Happy Holidays.

    You do not want her to get your email and be able to circulate it around to her friends, or worse, the dreaded social media. You will not win.

    She sounds like a spoiled woman who took out her own life's frustrations on you. I mean, who has a messy kitchen when they are expecting 100 guests? Mine (and yours, I'm sure) would be so spotless you'd be able to eat off the floor.

    In this age of social media, your email would be copied & pasted all over the place, and all of her "friends" would chime in:
    --"Oh yeah, I was at that party, and they gave me Pinot Grigio instead of Chardonnay"
    --"I had to ask for extra hand towels in the bathroom as they didn't replenish them fast enough"
    Blah blah blah

    For future situations, times and arrangements of appetizers, etc., could be added to the contract. Of course, the messy microwave wouldn't enter into the contract. That sh*t just makes me mad.
    Thank you for your support, I agree with you 100%! :-)

  2. #12
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    Originally Posted by dias
    What I would do: I wouldn't send this email but if you meet her at another party and she is badmouthing you, I would reply with what you want to write in the email. Maybe it could cause friction in front of others but again that's what I would do.
    Gosh I hope she wouldnít badmouth me in front of me at a party! Lol

  3. #13
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Was the client pretty drunk? Just let it go and don't send that particular staff to that particular client again. Just email the client, thank you for your feedback. Leave it because it's a they said/she said deal and will just stay that way. This client sounds cranky or as if she drank too much, so let it go.
    I didnít think about that- maybe she was drunk.

  4. #14
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    Originally Posted by milly007
    I really like everyone's advice here. Some great input.

    Like the other posters have suggested, I wouldn't bother sending the email either. Even if you were to attempt to point out to this client the inadequacies in what she told you, versus what your team told you, you're fighting a losing battle (especially if you put it in an email! This would do you more harm than good [as LHGirl pointed out]). It would be one thing if you were actually there and could confirm what your team told you, but you weren't.

    Although I'm not the biggest fan of the statement that 'a customer is always right' (because I honestly don't believe this), I think it's a good philosophy to keep in mind when dealing with customers like this lady. I'm by no means suggesting that you agree with her and tell her that she's right. But, acknowledging her concerns and as mustlovedogs suggested, letting her know that you appreciate working for her could go a long way here. I find that some people just want to be acknowledged and heard. Plus, it's good for business.

    Getting into a "well you said this, but my staff told me that" type of situation is a no-win scenario, especially if you're dealing with someone who's persnickety and is convinced that they're in the right. And at least you know what you're dealing with if you take on any events with her in the future (that's if you want to).

    I'm sure you get tons of business based on referrals and word-of-mouth, so I would try and appease her if possible. I get that it's a pain in the ar*e, but this will benefit you in the long-run.

    Out of curiosity, has she paid her bill yet? Maybe I'm just being Ms. Cynical here, but the first thought that came to mind when I was reading your post, Daisy, was that she was trying to get her bill reduced.

    Either way, doesn't really change the circumstances of the situation. Just being curious.
    Thanks for your advice, I agree! I thought that too about the bill- she did pay and I did deposit the check. I thought maybe she was trying to get a discount. :-)

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  6. #15
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    Originally Posted by itsallgrand
    Don't pursue it further. Just thank for feedback, move on.

    You just can't please everyone all the time. It's ok, it sounds like you do a great job and won't be hurting by one 'good, not great' opinion.
    Thank you! Yes business is good so Iíll just send a quick note back.

  7. #16
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    While I agree that you shouldn't bother to confront her, I am curious how you handled her complaints with your staff?

    I manage a team of engineers that provide technical support for customers that use our software. We sometimes get complaints from customers, sales executives, consultants, etc. for various reasons... while on the one hand I want to address the customer's complaints and make sure they get their needs met, on the other hand I don't want to alienate my staff by not having their back... because like you, I really believe in their ability and the quality of their work and I know their job can be difficult!

  8. #17
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Believing in your team and their abilities is great, but it's always a good idea to temper that with the fact that your team is made up of humans and humans are flawed. People do actually make mistakes, overlook things, etc. When managing, it's actually never a good idea to believe in your team blindly. Try to stay more objective and grounded about it and about customer complaints. Mistakes do happen and getting defensive with a customer will not work out well for you. You don't want to create a culture of "us v. them" and you definitely don't want to create a culture where your team feels like no matter how badly they mess up, there will never be consequences ro accountability because their boss blindly believes them over the customer. Ironically, that can actually destroy a great team, destroy morale, leave people not caring about their work, etc. Ultimately, it can sink your business because most unsatisfied customers may never say a word, just transfer their business elsewhere.

  9. #18
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    The customer is always right! Do not say any more.

    Tell her that you spoke to your staff and apologize for any miscommunication.

    I do not understand how she is uncomfortable with help if she has a nanny. The woman sounds like a pain in the azz,

    Let it go. You already have a great reputation. You can't please everyone.

  10. #19
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    Yeah, I agree with Holly and everyone else. Don't get defensive with clients. Move from denial (my guys couldn't have done this) to acceptance (I'm sorry and it won't happen again. Remember, that you are servers and you're there to serve.

    Personally, I would tell you that if she does contact you for a future party, you might want to pass on the job. I don't think she will be happy even with your best service.

  11. #20
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    Originally Posted by DanZee
    Yeah, I agree with Holly and everyone else. Don't get defensive with clients. Move from denial (my guys couldn't have done this) to acceptance (I'm sorry and it won't happen again. Remember, that you are servers and you're there to serve.

    Personally, I would tell you that if she does contact you for a future party, you might want to pass on the job. I don't think she will be happy even with your best service.
    Yup. I agree. I would be busy if she contacts you again.

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