3 minute read
From time to time in your horse business, you'll find yourself in a disagreement with a client.
➡ Barefoot vs. Shod vs. Composite
➡ Treeless vs. Flex tree vs. Traditional
➡ Stalled vs. Full turnout
➡ IR diet vs. Grass/pasture
➡ Chiro vs. Massage
➡ A new practitioner in town whose methods you don't agree with
The list goes on…
These sticky situations are just part of the job, and knowing how to handle them is an essential part of being a business owner.
Client disagreements are not always a big confrontation or argument and are more often a simple difference of opinion. Here are some tips to help you handle client disagreements professionally and keep them from escalating into bigger scenarios:
When a client expresses their disagreement, it's important to listen actively and try to understand their perspective. Let them finish speaking before responding, and ask clarifying questions if necessary. Like the old saying goes, “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Try this: “Could you please further explain what you mean?”
It's important to remain calm and composed, even if the client is angry or upset. The urge to go 'mama bear' over your baby (business) can be so strong, but take a deep breath and avoid getting defensive or emotional. This too shall pass, and you don’t want to burn bridges or hurt your reputation in the heat of moment.
ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR CONCERNS
Everyone wants to feel validated. Show empathy and understanding by acknowledging their concerns. Let them know that you hear them and understand what they're saying.
Try this: “A lot of my clients feel the same way.” OR "Thank you for sharing your view."
Once you have understood your client's point of view and concerns, offer possible solutions that address their issues. Be open to compromise and finding a happy middle ground.
Try this: “I understand what you’re saying. Have you also considered… / In my experience, I’ve also found… / Would you be open to..."
After the disagreement has been resolved, follow up with your client to ensure that they are satisfied with the outcome. This will help to build trust and strengthen your relationship.
Try this: "Just checking in to see how xyz is working for you."
Handling client disagreements professionally is crucial for maintaining positive relationships with your clients. By listening actively, remaining calm, acknowledging their concerns, offering solutions, and following up, you can ensure that even when disagreements arise, you can resolve them in a way that satisfies both parties.
It's also important to remember that differing opinions are not inherently a 'bad' thing. They actually give us a chance to widen our perspective & level-up our professionalism + people skills, and knowing how you will handle these situations + respond ahead of time also makes them a heck of a lot easier when they come along.