In the world of managed services we deal with a variety of client scenarios/situations. In some cases, the client may get "heated" and we have to do our best to mitigate and manage the situations to a favorable outcome. Sometimes these issues can be foreseen, but unfortunately unforeseen situations are unavoidable in our world. Here are some helpful tips to see these situations to a beneficial resolution for all involved.
Listen to the Client
Our instinct as a person in managed services is to "Fix" the problem or to act quickly toward some sort of resolution...DON'T!! Take pause and talk over the client's concerns and hear them out first. Don't assume you know the issue and then act. Understand the current and future needs of the client to figure out the best long term outcome. The client will appreciate this approach and you'll be setting up your business for long term success. Not every situation will warrant a conversation or deep-dive with the client, but know your audience and when extra time/care is necessary.
Get the Right People Involved
If you're able to handle the situation on your own, move forward and get the necessary work done to correct the client issue. After analyzing the scenario and determining additional resources are necessary, get them involved right away and early on in discussions. Second-hand information can be dangerous in some cases and we want EVERYONE to have the right information right away. Know resources that are necessary not only on your team, but the client's team as well. Make sure you have all the access and people necessary for a quick outcome.
Communicate is Everything
Once you have your data and your team assembled, have a clear plan moving forward with your client on the desired resolution. Put this plan in writing and CC people on both teams so no one is out of the loop. Have clear deliverables with due dates and follow up with the client once those deliverables are completed. You want to show the client that you're going the extra mile to see their issue through and will do whatever it takes to get it resolved. This will create a loyal client and establish trust within their organization. The situations will happen....it's how you learn and grow from them as an organization moving forward.