7 Ways You Can Deal With an Unhappy Client at Your Creative Agency

Every agency will, at one point or another, find itself in some sort of a delicate situation with an unhappy client. We all know that it’s unavoidable, but we still need to be prepared for it to happen to ensure that you both mitigate the issue at hand and take advantage of the situation.

Keep in mind that agency clients and prospects alike will notice how you deal with a negative situation, and in the world of social media, this cannot be ignored. Before determining how to address a problem, you should obviously look at ways to avoid it in the first place. But how? Think about your agency clients and their needs, and try to anticipate their concerns.

An important concept to consider is that you should always be prepared and careful prior to moving a project forward. Do not start working if you do not have the right information available. An effective client/agency relationship always requires honesty in the creative process, including the agency pushing back if the client hasn’t provided all the information needed.

Why It’s Important to Comfort Unhappy Clients

No matter how amazing a creative agency is, things can occasionally go wrong and anger customers. If these issues are not dealt with properly, it can lead to problems. 

When a client is dissatisfied with your agency, they might request a refund or cancel their contract. Additionally, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll leave negative evaluations of their encounter, advising others to avoid working with your agency. 

Clients who pay for excellent service have every right to be displeased with an uncooperative, careless, or disrespectful representative. On the other side, customers are more likely to be satisfied if they receive excellent customer care and a workable solution to their issue. They will be sure to give you a five-star review for your support and acknowledge that mistakes do occur.

7 Ways You Can Deal With an Unhappy Client at Your Creative Agency

If you acquire the essential soft skills, you’ll also improve the quality of your everyday life as a contact center agent.

One of the most common reasons for client discontent with their agency is a misunderstanding of their needs or miscommunication of their perceived needs. A poor, nonexistent or incomplete creative brief can lead to this problem. (Learn more about how to write an effective brief here). Moreover, customers do not necessarily know what they want, they just know what they don’t want, and expect work that somehow goes beyond their expectations and what they feel they could have come up with themselves. They want the work to be worth the money they are paying. Tips for dealing with unhappy clients at your agency:

1. Stay calm, be polite and stay positive

As the nature of the work of creative agencies requires frequent interaction with customers, you should train your staff to maintain a professional demeanour. Your agency representatives must develop the ability to control their frustration.

When dealing with an irate customer, it could be tempting to adopt the same tone of voice and reply as soon as they’ve finished speaking. However, It is advisable to avoid this at all costs because it will only make the matter worse. The better approach for the agent is to maintain their composure and take a few minutes to consider their response. In this way, customer interaction will be far more effective.

Support teams need to be skilled communicators when dealing with frustrated clients. Positive language is a tool to help cool down a heated situation, whereas negative language just serves to fan the flames. Try to use a positive tone and be careful with your words. You may not solve the problem right away, but if you show your effort and that you’re willing to help, the agency client will be more easygoing.

Be careful not to use words that make the client feel isolated or wrong. Even if some of the comments are true, it isn’t helpful to bring them up at the moment. Instead, speaking positively will encourage the customer’s confidence and make a bad situation better.

2. Apologize and offer a solution

Even if you believe that the issue is not your fault, say you’re sorry. It’s hard to keep bugging a person when he/she apologizes to you.

For some personality types, this may be challenging, but most of the time, an immediate and honest apology will help resolve a conflict. By admitting your error and acknowledging the client’s concern, you can deter them from escalating their complaint.

The next stage after the acknowledgment is to start looking for a solution. To do this, you must ascertain the client’s particular requirements, which may differ from the complaint they initially made. Sometimes the solution will be crystal clear, but other times you’ll need to conduct some research. Ask plenty of questions, pay attention more often than you speak, and try to get to the heart of the matter.

Even if the issue is not your responsibility, provide a remedy. The client doesn’t care who is to blame for a problem, but they will remember how you resolve it.

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3. Reply quickly

If a customer is unhappy, deal with the problem immediately. Do not leave it for the next day. If you really want to help your agency client, do it right away and he/she will notice that you truly care about him/her.

As soon as you can, let them know you’re looking into the matter by sending them an email, or even better, by calling or speaking with them in person. If anything you are unclear about, ask them to clarify. Focus on establishing effective communication from the outset rather than laying blame or providing justifications.

4. Liste without being defensive

Another tip to deal with unsatisfied agency clients is by actively listening. Give them your full attention and be present during the discussion. Before you react, carefully read the customer’s question or statement. Focus on what they are saying rather than the rage they are expressing.

To show that you are paying attention, paraphrase the customer’s concern, seek clarification, and avoid interjecting with your own thoughts When dealing with irate clients, this is frequently the best course of action.

A good technique is to ask a question summarizing what he/she said, showing that you understood the issue and are interested in helping. Listening will also contribute to defining the real problem and figuring out the solution.

5. Make alternative versions

Here’s a little secret knowledge: clients adore alternatives. If the brief is clear and agreed upon, you might believe it is not required to create numerous variants. Giving them more options isn’t the only effective approach to keeping them happy, though. 

Making adjustments can also be aided by a range of options. By giving your consumers many choices, you may also help them realize some ways that are not appropriate for them. Alternatively, you may suggest a solution that would be more effective.

6. Be honest and transparent all the time

Honesty and transparency are crucial when handling unhappy clients at your agency. It’s important to show impatient clients that you understand them and genuinely care about resolving their problems. Before dealing with a dissatisfied customer, make sure you know their history and prior orders. This reflects your credibility and help the client see your capability and eagerness to help them.

Warn your clients about problems that may arise before they happen and clarify what you can or cannot do. Avoid “yo-yo problems” (the kind of issues that go back and forth because they are not completely solved). This will only add to client discontent.

7. Eliminate losses

Sometimes finding a solution to a client’s issue may come at a cost to your bottom line. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided, and it usually signifies that the project won’t bring in much money. Even though it hurts, cutting your losses in the short term can benefit you in the future. By resolving the issue and turning a bad situation into a good one, you will ultimately gain more than you lose with greater client loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Clients who have the problems successfully resolved feel as though they can trust and rely on you. They may become more devoted and enthusiastic supporters of your creative agency than clients who have never had any issues. A problem that has been effectively resolved may result in future referrals and work.

Final Thoughts

Although dealing with unhappy consumers can be challenging, it is not impossible. It’s almost like an art, if you execute it well, it is the chance to adopt a growth mindset and improve. 

The most important thing a representative can do when handling an unhappy client is to allow them an opportunity to vent. In order to find a solution, treat them with respect, tolerance, and empathy.

Clients who have had problems with their agency or other vendors that have been effectively dealt with actually tend to be more loyal than clients who never had any problems in the first place. If your agency has done everything to solve the issue that arose, the client will know that they can count on you.  Remember, use every opportunity to build a positive relationship with your clients. Use client issues and complaints of service performance indicators of your firm. Any information you can use to help improve the workflow and management of your creative agency is extremely valuable. Do you have any good stories about unhappy agency clients or issues to share with us? Please leave a comment below on how you have dealt with difficult situations.

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