Tips to Manage an Unhappy Client

Any manager or leader who has struggled through an unhappy client knows how crucial people buy-in is. They also know how time-consuming and difficult it can be to secure. When it comes to unhappy clients, time is of the essence. Your initial actions as leaders should be aimed at immediately stabilizing the project and preserving the core relationship so it will survive. Then you can shift attention to reworking the project, laying the foundation for future success. Here are three ways you may gain buy-in from your client and team while you have an unhappy client situation:

1. Empathize: Unhappy client, by definition means you are suffering. Let client and people air their grievances about what went wrong and reminisce about the glory days. Their complaints may reveal important information about what they truly care about and how they measure success.

2. Congregate and share information: Interview client leadership team and members of the project to make sure your strategy will work share these information with the team. If client and project team see evidence that the strategy will work, they are more likely to get behind it.

3. Keep open lines of communication: As you implement the strategy, continually ask client and team for their input and regularly update them on progress.

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