An inevitable part of running your own business is having to deal with difficult clients. Sometimes things beyond your control can occur or a mistake can be made. In these unfortunate situations, what’s important to focus on is your reaction and how you handle the negative feedback.
To protect the reputation of your wellness center, be mindful of how you respond to such customers and their complaints. First and foremost, you must be able to put yourself in the proper head space before talking to difficult clients at your wellness center. Take a breath and relax in order to be in the right frame of mind to handle the situation with the utmost professionalism. This is the key to dealing with any difficult customer, because when you’re in such a state, you won’t allow the situation to escalate. At the end of the day, your clients are your livelihood, so make sure their happiness is your top priority.
We’ve only scratched the surface! Read on to discover the most useful tips and strategies to keep even the most challenging customers happy.
Common Scenarios and How to Handle Them
To help you manage difficult clients, we’ve compiled a list of popular scenarios and the best techniques to handle them. Get ready to increase your client retention rates with outstanding customer service!
1. When a client has complicated demands
Sometimes you may face clients who have complicated or unreasonable demands. When their requests aren’t fulfilled, they may become rude towards you and your staff. But this doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless!
Imagine a customer at your wellness center requests a combination of services or only particular brands of products. For instance, “Could I have a hot stone Swedish massage?” or “Is it possible to only have lavender scented hypo allergenic oils?” Demands like these can’t always be fulfilled, so it’s important to be patient and not immediately dismiss their requests. Informing all staff of your policies and having them displayed at your wellness center will also help to clarify what your facility can and can’t offer.
Gently tell the customer that this is not a possibility but provide them with reasonable alternatives. Remind them of the services you can offer and try to come up with a compromise. Even difficult clients will value the fact that you have taken the time to try to provide a solution, which will increase their loyalty to your facility.
2. When a client is unhappy with the service
An unhappy client is never good for business. It requires a certain amount of tact and sensitivity to turn their negative experience into a positive one.
Active listening is something you must do when facing difficult clients. This means that you listen to what they’re saying with both your body and mind. Positive body language like nodding your head and an open posture will make customers feel like their words are truly being heard. Remember to hear them out fully and never interrupt them.
There are a variety of verbal and non-verbal cues that you should keep in mind to show your clients that you care and are there to help them. For example, keep a calm facial expression, a proper amount of eye contact, and open hands. Helpful verbal cues include the phrase, “I apologize”, terms of respect like sir or ma’am, and calling your clients by name.
Next, show empathy. Tell them you understand their concern and apologize for the negative experience they’ve had. Always keep your voice low and try to de-escalate the situation with your tone and words.
It’s of the utmost importance to act quickly and tell them what you can do to rectify the situation. Never let a situation stay unresolved for too long, as difficult clients may turn to social media to broadcast their frustration. Nip this in the bud and provide a resolution as soon as you can. Depending on the case, this may be anything from a refund, to offering them an alternative service. Taking the time to compensate your customers will show them that you value them and care about their satisfaction.
Finally if applicable, let the customer know that their feedback has made a positive impact on your wellness center. Ensure them you will take all the necessary steps to make sure that this will never happen again to another customer. Not only will they value your efforts, but they will look at your establishment with more respect.
3. When a client refuses to pay full price
There may be moments when clients are so unhappy with the service that they refuse to pay full price. Perhaps the massage was not to their liking or they were confused with the cost of a particular service. No matter what the situation may be, it’s important to always keep your company’s policy in mind.
As we previously stated, having your company policy clearly outlined and displayed in your facility is of the utmost importance. This makes it clear to customers exactly what the rules are. Refer to it and tell the customer that you did your job according to company policy. Though difficult clients may be dissatisfied, they were still provided with a service.
For instance, a customer may complain that they don’t want to pay full price for a massage because the masseuse did not apply enough pressure during the session. Let them know they should address any concerns or complaints they may have as early as possible with the appropriate staff member, so they can get the experience they paid for.
Consider reminding clients of your company policy over the phone when confirming their appointment or have them sign an agreement when they arrive for their session. This documentation is vital, as it will protect your staff and business.
4. When a client wants to return merchandise
You may offer a range of products for your clients to enjoy at your facility. After making a purchase however, some clients may want to return them because they’re unhappy with the results. Remember to have a section pertaining to returning merchandise in your company’s policy as well.
First, tell your client that you appreciate them letting you know about the issue with the product. Thank them and try to build a rapport to fully understand their problem with the item. Then, inform them of your facility’s return policy. Usually if the package has been opened and used, the item cannot be taken back. Instead, show them other products which they may prefer, to give the desired effect they’re looking for. Taking the time to help your clients find exactly what they’re looking for shows your commitment to their satisfaction. In the case that the product is unused and still in its original packaging, offer your client the opportunity to exchange or return it.
5. When you’ve made a mistake
Mistakes do happen. In such cases, it’s important to take responsibility and let the customer know that you plan to take the necessary steps to correct the situation.
Admitting your mistake is the first thing you must do in such cases. Apologize and let the customer know that you’ll do everything you can to turn their experience around. Compensation is one of the best methods to placate dissatisfied customers. Offer them another service free of charge and a discount on a future service of their choice.
Acknowledging your mistake and doing your best to provide your client with a positive experience will earn you respect among your customers. Ignoring the mistake and turning the blame onto them will only make the situation worse. What’s more, is this could lead to a negative review in the world of social media. Difficult clients who make a scene at your establishment, will have no problem posting or tweeting about it online. Once things spread in the digital space, it’s hard to stop them, so nip the situation in the bud and take responsibility for your actions.
You should view such mistakes as a learning opportunity as they’ll help your business grow.
When All is Said and Done…
Difficult clients will remember how you dealt with the situation more than the actual event. The interaction and the steps that you take may even influence their decision of whether to continue using your services. Remaining calm, actively listening to your customers, and providing them with alternatives will boost your reputation and popularity with even the most difficult clients at your wellness center.
WellnessLiving would love to help you boost your business and your client retention rates. Our all-in-one wellness center management software comes equipped with client retention strategies, staff and client apps, automated marketing, easy online booking, and much more. Book a free, no commitment demo with us today to give your clients the optimum customer experience!