Property inspectors put up with lots of challenges on a regular basis. It’s simply the nature of the business. There’s always an underlying issue looming over your head, documents to be typed and stored, and new prospects to be attracted. All of these make for the biggest problematic scenarios, if gone unaddressed, can eventually lead to larger disasters. One of the most hindering scenarios is dealing with a difficult client that’s lost faith in the home inspection process because they were failed by another inspector in the past. If this sounds familiar, take a look at some ways to handle this type of predicament.
Be Kind, But Firm
Kindness is certainly not a weakness. It’s all in the way you address situations, as well as your tone, gestures, and body language. If you have a client who’s simply a bundle of nerves before they receive the results of the digital inspection report, it’s typically easier to deal with than a customer that has become intensely bitter, questioning or insulting every move you make during the process. In this case, it’s best to remember to remain courteous, but also keep a stern tone so the troublesome client doesn’t try to run over you. Not establishing boundaries beforehand will always work against you.
Get to the Heart of the Matter
Bitter clients don’t usually start off bitter. There’s a reason behind their aggression and it typically has to do with them having a previous property inspection experience that went badly. It may just be difficult for your client to stop seeing you through the same lens that they used to see the prior home investigator. Clearly, that’s not your problem, but the least you can do is try and discuss why they’re giving you such a hard time. If the client shuts down or becomes increasingly quarrelsome, then your time together might need to come to an abrupt end. However, if they seem willing to open up, it’s a good sign that they can still change their behavior and give you the benefit of the doubt.
Customers who are over-critical are also suspicious about your every move. Knowing this, you should be prepared to explain the evaluation thoroughly to them as you check every component in and around the residence. The more they see that you have nothing to hide and that you are very knowledgeable about the process, the less they’ll try to challenge you and push your buttons.
Don’t Mirror Them
The worst thing you can do is try to give them a dose of their own medicine. As tempting as it may sound, remember that fires don’t put out other fires. Be sensible and calm, although firm, to let your client know that you’re not going to let them rattle you. By being the ‘bigger’ person, you could actually inspire them to modify their own attitude. Whatever the case, it’s always better to take the high road and remain unmoved when challenged.