Thom Singer has a fine post about how to repair a damaged relationship with a client.
His advice is right on:
*Approach the problem in a “fast and straight-forward fashion” (I like to refer to that as the Tylenol approach, an example of a brilliant strategy that likely saved that company when they were confronted with the bottle tampering crisis),
*Meet with the applicable person directly (don’t try to utilize an intermediary),
*Apologize if you are at fault, even if only in a minor way,
*Even if you are not at fault, but the client perceives that you are, apologize for your part in any miscommunication (since there must have been a breakdown somewhere), and
*If the client is unreasonable and won’t accept your apology, then move on (such people will never be satisified, will be looking to find fault again, and it is best to not waste your legal marketing efforts on a client like that).
Of course, if you did mess up, and the client accepts your apology, make sure you have safeguards in place to ensure against future foul-ups. As Thom points out, the client may forgive you this time, but the “smart ones will never forgive you twice.” Good point.
Thanks, Thom.