9. How to Avoid Problems and Keep Clients Happy

HOW TO AVOID PROBLEMS AND KEEP CLIENTS HAPPY


Introduction

There are two words to keep in mind: problem and expectations.

Let’s start with what we mean by a ‘problem.’

A problem can be a:

Complication

Dilemma

Dispute

Issue

Obstacle

Disagreement

or a

Point at Issue.

An expectation is an assumption about a likely outcome.
In business, as in life generally, most problems arise when expectations are not met.


In your My Life & Stories business:

Your clients will expect:

  • that you keep your promises

  • that you deliver a high-quality recording of their memoir

  • that you tell them the truth.


You will expect of your clients:
  • that they keep their promises

  • that they pay you what was agreed

  • that they tell you the truth.

When expectations are not met, you have a problem.

The best way to avoid problems and keep clients happy 
is to make sure expectations are clearly understood 
and are being met by you and your client.


How?

One of your most important tools is your terms and conditions. 

You have a template for terms and conditions in your back office. 

Terms and conditions are an explanation of:

  • what you will do for your client

  • what you will deliver and how you will deliver it

  • what your client will do and how they will do it

  • what your client will pay you and when they will pay you

  • what you will do if the client decides to cancel before their memoir is completed

  • what the client must do if the client decides to cancel before their memoir is completed.

You avoid problems and keep clients happy when you make sure these expectations are clear and understood.

You do this at the start of your relationship with your client.

And you do this during your relationship with your client.


What you should do at the start of your relationship with your client:

Please go to your back office and open the tool titled, Template for Terms and Conditions



You should amend this template to make sure it explains what you will do for your client and what you will deliver and what your client will do – in your own words.

How to amend the terms and conditions template:

This template is a Word document.

The template is a guideline only.

You can edit it; make any changes or additions you want. 

Stop here and complete your terms and conditions.

Take enough time to explain things clearly in writing. Don’t rush this. It’s too important to get it right.


Next step


If possible, ask a fifth or sixth grader to read your terms and conditions and tell you what he or she does not understand. 

Make changes accordingly.


If you can’t get a young person to help you, find someone who will give you honest feedback. Ask them to tell you if anything is unclear or possibly misleading. 

Make changes accordingly.

How to go over your terms and conditions with a client:

Follow these steps:

  1. Place a copy of the terms and conditions in front of your client
  2. Explain that you want to review what your client can expect from you and what you will need from your client
  3. Ask the client to interrupt you any time he or she is not clear
  4. If your client signals agreement, ask your client to sign the terms and conditions and you sign too.
  5. Tell your client you will review the terms and conditions periodically to make sure expectations are clear.


Practice:

Back to the mirror!


Imagine you are with a client at the start of your relationship. 


Try to get the tone of your voice to sound calm. 


Explain the terms and conditions as if you are with a client.


Finally – and very importantly – review the terms and conditions at least twice more during your relationship with your client

Why?


You want to avoid problems before they arise.

Problems arise when expectations are not met (or even if they have been met, the client doesn’t believe it.)

When you review the terms and conditions you make sure your client’s expectations are in line with what you had agreed.

If not, you have the opportunity to clear things up, make changes if necessary and show your client you want to be sure s/he is happy with the process.

How?

Review the terms and conditions after the first recording.

Review the terms and conditions when you are ready to deliver the recorded memoir.

Ask if your client has any concerns and deal with them there and then.