Learn to Love Dealing with the Clients you Hate

Learn to Love Dealing with the Clients you Hate


Entrepreneurs need to face the wrath of their clients from time to time. Dealing with irate clients is probably the most stressful part of any job and most entrepreneurs face these highly-charged interactions with absolute fear and frustration.

‘The Customer is King’ and ‘the client is always right’ psychology protects and condones client outbursts. Many clients feel completely justified in expressing their immense anger and loud displeasure. It is basically the only time social etiquette condones outbursts and the venting of pent up anger.  Also, when clients lose their cool, it is usually a lifetime of emotional baggage and suppressed emotion that comes flooding out in your direction.

Corporate Intelligence Training trains entrepreneurs on how to successfully deal with their irate clients and challenging business relationships. Here are five tips you may consider the next time you end up on the defensive.

  1. You are judged by your communication skills – Dissatisfied clients are looking for confident and competent professionals who can handle their problem. Your communication skills must inspire trust and you need to diplomatically take control of the situation. If you sound like you lack confidence and professionalism, it will make your client even more irate and they will feel even more justified in making you the object of their tirade.
  2. Stress Management – Dealing with irate clients is probably the most stressful aspect of any client relationship. Stress unfortunately destroys your ability to think on your feet, severely inhibits vocal control and creates weak and non-assertive body language. Stress Management techniques will help you to remain in control under pressure and enable you to communicate and function optimally.
  3. Your first impression is vital – When clients are angry, they become far more judgemental and reactionary. This makes your first impression / telephonic greeting even more important. If you sound professional, enthusiastic and dynamic, it will reassure them and calm them down. Conversely, staff with poor attitudes and weak communication skills will be asking for a lambasting.
  4. Listen – You need to become an Active and Empathetic Listener in order to establish what the client issue is and what the client’s primary emotional need and stress trigger is. Active and Empathetic listening is the key to understanding your client’s needs.
  5. Develop your Emotional Intelligence – Behind every client conflict is an emotionally frustrated client and you need to address the client’s emotional needs before you can solve their problem. Your client is not going to listen or co-operate while they still are emotionally whipped up. You need to develop your Emotional Intelligence to help you to calm your clients down.

Conflict and irate clients are certainly challenging. But if you up-skill your communication skills and become a more Emotionally Intelligent communicator, these challenging interactions can become stimulating and ultimately motivating interactions. If you solve client conflicts professionally and intelligently, you can actually impress your clients and strengthen these vital business relationships.

John French
John French is a highly respected communication strategist and high level communication skills trainer. He has been an industry expert for the last 16 years and is the founder of Corporate Intelligence Training: www.corporateintelligence.co.za