Monday, 10 October 2011

How to Handle Difficult Customers and Suppliers

As an event planner, you will serving and working with a wide variety of individuals. These individuals usually land into two main categories - your customers and suppliers. Some of these individuals will be an absolutely breeze to work with, where as others will be more difficult. This is something that an event planner should always be ready to handle as it will happen from time to time (sometimes more often than others). I have had my fair share of this and as frustrating and stressful as it can be, you must act professional and resolve the conflict.

Here are my tips on how to handle difficult customers and suppliers:

Remain calm.   I've mentioned this before, it's really important to remain calm in these type of situations. If your customer/supplier is becoming irrational, it is best to to just remain calm. Don't go to their level of frustration. It will only make matters worse and will not solve anything. Staying in a calm state of mind will show you are in control, can work under stress and are a professional.

Listen. When your customer/supplier is upset, it is best to first listen to what they have to say. Listen to their side and find out why exactly they are frustrated. Once you have determined why they are frustrated from listening to them, you can now find a solution to the conflict. Most individuals will really appreciate that you took the time to listen to them.

Show them that you care. Show them that you value the relationship and care about their concerns. A way of showing that you care is by listening, as I said above. Another way is to express to them that you  want to sincerely keep them happy and resolve conflicts where both parties benefit. When they realize that you care about the relationship and sustaining it, they will usually be easier to work with.

Stand your ground. If they are being unreasonable and forcing you to go against your moral values, you need assert yourself and express your concerns. Make sure to of course do this in a professional and calm manner. If they are communicating in a destructive way, you need to be confident and express to them how this is affecting you. Explain that the conflict cannot be resolved if both parties aren't calm and want to work towards a solution. There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and standing your ground, just make sure you are professional.

Try not to take it personally. I have definitely done this before, but try not to take the conflict too personally. The conflict could be from a mistake you made, but it's important not to let this bring you down. You need to learn from the situation and move on. By taking it personally, you show that you are not in control of the situation and allow conflict to continually affect you. Bad things do happen, but what's important is how you handle it.

Enjoy the tips and Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Gobble Gobble ;)

-Shira :)

1 comment:

Gena F said...

Very important things mentioned here. All of it really. I find one thing that people don;t do enough of, is tell the customer that YOU are the one that will be sorting this out and dealing with the situation to avoid the "who are you" at the beginning.

Gena F | Vantaggio HR