Someone sent me an interview question and asked my how I thought I’d answer it. The question was ‘How would you deal with an angry client?’, and I’m going to share my thoughts here.
On every account I’ve worked on, amazing projects and bad, amazing teams and not so amazing ones, there have been angry clients. I found they come in two types; the person who is always angry, and the person who is angry on a specific occasion. This is how I’d handle them both.
For the ‘anger is a way of life’ client
No matter what you do you can’t seem to get on the right side of this person. Nothing is good enough, your prices are too high, you’re not working long enough hours, the solution isn’t what they want. It seems that from 8am right up to the point where you leave the office this person is angry.
Take a second and think about why. What are the kind of things that get me in a bad mood and keep me there?
In my opinion, the ‘always on’ angry client tends to have some or all of the following problems:
The way to deal with this person is generally the same no matter which problems they have. The trick is to make them feel and look good. Try some of these things:
For the ‘the fan has been hit’ client
For this client something has happened, and they’re mad. They’re not happy at all. Whatever you did it didn’t go down well and now the whole world knows it. There is clearly an origin to this anger and your approach needs to think about that.
Overall, if you demonstrate honesty and integrity you will grow amazing client relationships. Thinking about how you’ll behave and how you’ll react in difficult situations is important. After all, a ‘client’ is another person the same as you, but they’re on the hook for what you’re doing
We’re in the middle of a big bang style project implementation as I write this. It’s the first time for the junior PM managing it, and the umpteenth time for me, and whilst she is busy stressing about the things that are not going quite to plan the only value I’m adding is a little bit of calm and focus.
She’s very good, but just like anybody in that situation it’s easy to get distracted. You’re stressed, you’re anxious, and it’s also performance management time. The pressure is on.
If you’re reading this and you’ve also been thrown in at the deep end, know that is so only because people have confidence in you. Over time I learned a few tricks to help me get through these kinds of high pressure implementations.
Anyway, that’s my two penneth worth as I wait for an email to tell me that this little snag is sorted. Wish us luck!
Today I received a phone call from my mother, frustrated that she keeps missing calls to her mobile. She isn’t the speediest at getting around and at the moment her phone is ringing only three times before the call is forwarded to voicemail.
On O2 you can easily increase the length of time the phone will ring before diverting.
Go to your phone and open the dial screen or phone app. Dial the following **61*901*11*NN# SEND, where NN represents the number of seconds you want it to ring for.