Handling Frustrated Clients

My business is in Connecticut and the Northeast has had a very cold winter and a lot of snow.  A few days this winter we have had warm ups causing the snow and ice on roofs to melt – which stresses drains and roofs and can cause leaks.

We have many clients that call in the night about water leaking into their condo unit or home.  The client is frustrated or angry that this is happening and wants action immediately.  However, it is not safe to have men climb on icy roofs at night when it is sleeting or raining.

It can stress you or your employees out when having to deal with an angry person in the middle of the night when there is no good solution at hand.  The best course of action in this case is to wait until the morning to inspect and try to fix the problem – and in the meantime have the client mitigate damage and catch the drips in a container.

We’ve conducted training on how to deal with difficult people.  Some of the techniques are to repeat back what the person’s issue is so they feel heard.  Let them know you empathize with them and then lay out their options or the course of action.  This works 80% of the time.  Sometimes you can’t help the 20%.  If they are abusive set a boundary and let them know you are there to help but they cannot talk to you this way and if it continues they will have to call you back.

Hopefully, though you can view these customer service interactions as a challenge and win over the client.

Good luck!

Published on March 4, 2015 in Property Management

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