Not every client is satisfied. No matter how hard you work or how good your business is there will always be people who want to complain. It can be anything from the time it takes for paperwork to be filed to human error. Knowing how to handle a complaint can turn an unhappy client into a happy one, as long as you have a great technique. Here is a guide on how to deal with complaints in your accountancy practice.
In the first instance, it is important to listen to what your client is saying. You may feel defensive about your work but don’t interject. Let your client say everything they need to before you say anything but practice active listening, so they know you are taking their complaint seriously.
Letting a client talk themselves out will help them to calm down and deal with the situation rationally. It will also give you the chance to thoroughly understand what they are upset about.
Once you have heard your client out, paraphrase what they have said to make sure that you understand what the issue is. This way your client knows that you have listened and understood what they are saying, and you know you haven’t missed anything important.
Agree on a Solution
Tell your client what you are going to do to resolve the problem and get them to agree with you on a solution. You should then make sure you do what you said you were going to do in a timely fashion so that the client knows that they are important to them.
It may take a while for you to investigate their issue, especially in the case of human error. However, setting a timescale and keeping them updated on your progress will often dispel their anger and make them feel relieved that you are helping them.
Once you have finished dealing with the complaint you should go back to your client with the information you have found out and let them know how you will resolve the issue. This might involve changing your business practices so that the error can’t happen in the future, offering compensation, or explaining why you won’t be taking things further if you have not found anything you can fix.
Taking It Further
Hopefully, by this time you would have turned your unhappy client into a happy one by resolving the issue. However, they are free to take things further if they do not like your resolution and their next step could be to sue you.
Make sure you have already got accountancy insurance; you should have set this up when you started your business. You can claim on accountancy insurance to help you offset the cost of your legal fees if the case goes to court.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Don’t beat yourself up if you have made a mistake; treat it as a learning experience and figure out a way of making sure it doesn’t happen in the future.
Follow this guide to help you deal with customer complaints and hopefully you will be able to keep your client once you have resolved the matter.