What you should know about a difficult client…

Have you ever heard of the term QTIP?  I am not talking about the stick with two ends of cotton, but the acronym Quit Taking It Personally or QTIP.  Sounds a bit harsh right?  Well, at first, I thought the same thing.  Then I realized, I don’t always know the specifics of what is going on in someone’s life.  They may have had a bad day and I was the person who they took it out on.  As one of my clients told me their father died unexpectedly, and it has been really hard on them. This experience taught me how to use the term and so I Quit Taking it Personally.


It is tough to QTIP when a client calls upset, especially when they are on the vacation.  I have found that almost 90% of client grievances can be fixed and pretty easily.  Handling the other 10% is what is going to set your travel agent services apart.  So, what do you do when you can’t “quick fix” an upset client?


1.  Never initially say the words: sorry, apologize, fault, or blame.  Use words like: “I understand what you are saying…”, or “I am surprised that you are having this happen to you…”


2. Always listen to what the client is upset about.  If you’re like me, you want to interject while the client is telling you the problem.  Try holding your breath so you won’t have the urge to interject and say something regrettable.


3. Write down what the client is saying to you.  You may not completely understand their grievance, so write down what you think they are saying and then read it back to them.  Reading it back to them and getting confirmation that you understood what they said is very important.


4. Once you have confirmation of the grievance, tell the client what your next steps will be and you will let them know as soon as you hear something.  Everyone likes a plan, so come up with one for your clients.


5. Do exactly what you told the client you were going to do.  Whether it is contacting the hotel, making arrangements, or getting information, you will want to start the process as soon as you can.


6. Once you have fixed or helped with the grievance, make sure to follow-up with the clients to make sure they are placated.  I say placated, because the outcome may not be exactly what your clients were looking for, but hopefully, it was enough for them to enjoy the rest of their vacation.


Subscriber, these steps above can be used in any grievance a client may have whether it is before, during, or after the vacation. I use the same steps with my clients when I need to, and I have found that my clients are responsive and appreciative.  Next time you have a client come to you with a grievance I hope these six steps get you the same results they get me.



Until next time, keep being SUCCESSFUL and don’t forget to join our Facebook Group…Growth Strategies for Travel Agents