Resolving Disputes with Homeowners
The goal of any refinisher is to establish a happy and healthy relationship with their clients, and most of the time this is not an issue. However, disputes with clients do happen. Tempers can run a little high during projects that are time-consuming or that do not go as planned, and it is important for refinishers to know how to deal with these types of situations. Below are some steps you can take to defuse and resolve problems with angry clients.
Keep a Cool Head
When a client gets angry, it is easy to get defensive and fire back, especially if they are yelling at one of your workers. However, this type of response is not beneficial for anyone involved. You don’t want to ruin a relationship with a client over one hot-headed moment. Not only would this ensure you won’t receive this client’s business in the future, but they will most likely not recommend you to anyone else they know. Make sure to respond to complaints as politely as possible to preserve your working relationship.
Have Policies in Place
It is very important to have documents in place that outline what the protocols are in a contentious situation. These usually take the form of stipulations written into the contract that both the refinisher and the homeowner sign at the beginning of project work. Having written guidelines available can aid in the communication process and help protect refinishers from issues that arise that may be out of their control. These policies are very helpful to refer to when negotiating solutions to various issues.
Establish Common Ground
Once the client understands your set policies, you must work toward finding an acceptable solution for both sides. The “customer is always right” mentality is important in this type of scenario, so you do want to be courteous and generous with what you are willing to supply. However, make sure not to sell yourself short. Point out all the good work that you and your team have done so far to remind the client of your honesty and high-quality. Hopefully, you will both be able to agree on next steps.
A dissatisfied client is always a tricky situation, so we hope these steps will help you in navigating these issues. As always, NAPCO is here to provide resources and support you on and off the job. Give us a call if you need more help in navigating conflict resolution with your clients.