Are you finding that some of your clients, some who have previously been good clients, have suddenly become quite fussy? Maybe they have been getting obsessed with the tiniest of mistakes when previously they would have just breezed over it, or maybe they are finding new issues that have never come up before. Whatever problems that are arising, here is how to deal with nit-picking clients, especially if they are asking for a discount.
The global pandemic has caused a considerable amount of stress. Some obvious, such as financial and health problems, and some not so obvious, emotions that can bubble and brew under the surface affecting our daily lives without us even realising.
As you can imagine, the net result of 3-4 months of anxiety and stress is starting to take its toll and people are trying to take control of what they can to ease some of that pressure.
Finances is a big one. Many people are worrying whether their businesses will bounce back, whether they’ll have a job to go back to, and their financial future, and to try and take control of this, many are now looking for that discount where they can. They are looking to shed overheads and for any opportunity to lighten the pressure of such a tight cashflow.
If you have clients who are asking for discounts, who are highlighting mistakes that you’ve made or who are trying to get more out of you, here are 3 things that you should do:
- Apologise – if you’ve made a mistake, acknowledge it. Put your hand up and own it and reassure them that you are investigating how it happened as well as putting in the necessary measures to prevent it from happening again.
- Offer additional value – don’t offer a physical discount, unless you’ve made a mistake that is of great magnitude. Always look to offer extra value instead. Is there any other way that you can help your client? Is there an add-on or service that doesn’t require too much from you that you can offer to the client for the same price?
- Listen and empathise – with how stressful it’s been, everyone is having a difficult time in their own way and they just want someone who can empathise and acknowledge this. If you can show them that you care and maybe even help them to see that this small mistake or issue they see is causing no material loss to them overall, that might be all they need.
It’s a difficult situation to be in, to have clients asking for discounts, but be strong. You are providing a service and you deserve to be paid for that service. It might only take an apology or for you to show your client that you want to help them in other ways.
If you start offering discounts, you will start training your clients to ask for discounts every time they see a mistake or if they’re not completely satisfied. Appeasing them now will only cause further issues for you down the line, so offer additional value and listen to their worries. They’ll soon start to value what you’re doing for them and you’ll be remembered for it when you need it most.