• 021 226 8654
  • hello@networknz.nz

    When Business Relationships Go Sour: Fixing Things with Your Clients, Customers & Suppliers

    As business owners, we’ve all experienced those awkward moments when business relationships go sour. Whether it’s a customer complaint with no grounding, a supplier charging you more than they charge your competitor or a client bad mouthing your business, it’s not a nice situation to be in. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to always maintain a high degree of professionalism, even if you’re in the right. Today we’re going to discuss the ways you can rebuild damaged relationships with your clients, customers and suppliers.

    Fixing Problems When Business Relationships Go Sour

    In today’s world, social media can be our best friend. It can also be our enemy, with people keen to share their negative experiences with businesses on it. They may have tried to contact the company privately, but when the problem wasn’t addressed, they went public with it. It’s like the Fair Go response – once the public know about it, it gets fixed pretty darn quick!

    Your aim is to prevent issues being aired in public by addressing them immediately once you become aware of them. If they do still get shared on social media, you are able to reply with what you have already done to remedy the situation.

    Let’s explore the ways you can begin to repair things when business relationships go sour.

    How to Fix Relationships with Clients, Customers & Suppliers

    There are many ways you can repair things in a professional manner with your customers, clients or suppliers. They include:

    Acknowledging there is a problem – by actively addressing the issue, you show you are taking the matter seriously and acting in good faith.
    Stop fault blaming – you may be 100% in the right, but you can’t fix anything if you are bent on showing who is at fault. There’s an issue regardless and you need to deal with it.
    See from their perspective – how do you think the other person is feeling? If you were in their shoes, how would you like the matter dealt with?
    Apologise – own the mistake, even if it wasn’t completely yours. The old, the customer is always right mantra lives here.
    Make repairs – if the product is faulty, offer a refund or replacement. Provide them with something for nothing and do it quickly – it’s called delivering beyond their expectations and it works! Now is also a good time to review your Terms and Conditions to check that nothing needs adapting from this experience.
    Be proactive – if you notice things are going sour, act immediately. If left, they’ll fester, and you’ll have a bigger mess to clean up.
    Sometimes things get out of hand and bullying becomes an issue. If this is the case for you, take a read of our article Adult Bullying and How to Deal with It for further advice. Do you have any other advice to offer regarding repairing business relationships? Share with us below!

    See you in our FREE business support and networking group! We have over 6000 small business owners who would love to meet you.