How to handle clients and conflict (and have happy clients)
834 is known for getting work done professionally and effectively. We like to think we make it look easy, but the truth is, our team works incredibly hard. Countless hours (and cups of coffee) ensure our clients receive exceptional value and results, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We love working with great people at amazing companies and building lasting relationships that contribute to their success. But, like all relationships, it’s not always wine and roses. Sometimes there are conflicts, and this is where having an integrated communications firm dedicated to meeting goals comes in handy.
When clients and conflict collide, here’s how we work to avoid and push through conflict to ensure that we have happy clients:
We Document Conversations
We are really (really) good at communications, that’s why we’re here, but communication is always a two-way street. One way that we prevent conflict is by clearly documenting timelines, expectations, assignments, and goals, in writing. We even make sure to capture notes from phone calls. This is invaluable in ensuring that our clients and our team can reference information in real-time, and easily look back at previous communications.
We Embrace It
Yup, you read that correctly. We actually embrace conflict as an opportunity to constantly improve. When we aren’t on the same page as a client, it provides a chance to dig into a goal, messaging, tactic, etc. to offer clarification. Often, a conversation that is born from conflict allows us a moment to regroup and make sure everyone is tracking together. Don’t shy away from these conversations, as they are extremely valuable. If no one really cared about the outcome, there would be no conflict – and we care.
We Are Honest
We are honest and realistic. This sometimes means that we have to say things our clients don’t want to hear but, as an extension of their team, we have to remain committed to success. We don’t exaggerate, rather, we calmly stick to facts and make recommendations. We also follow the cardinal rule to always have difficult conversations in person, or at least by phone. Email, and even worse, text messaging, can cause unnecessary angst because all emotion is lost. Honor the other person’s perspective by taking the time to connect, listen, and work together to move forward.
Our goal is always to make working with us as painless as possible. We will never create unnecessary conflict, but when clients and conflict do meet, we will lean right into it and make the most of the opportunity.