Okay folks, here's a biggy. When confronted with a potentially volatile situation, do you react or respond?
Survey says - respond.
It is human nature to react. You get a call or an email from a client and they are unhappy. Your immediate instinct is to take action right away. You need to calm the client down, make them happy. But wait. Don't be so quick to act.
First, do your due diligence. Identify what they are upset about and what actually happened. Gather your facts. Consider all of the evidence. Once you have a clear view of what actually happened you can respond.
This response will be well reasoned and thought out. You will be professional and clear. With your client's best interest in mind, you will do the right thing, not the immediate thing.
Think back to times you've reacted - it's an emotional response. You recoil and then spring into action. Unfortunately, your reaction can be incorrect and make matters worse. You may apologize for something that didn't happen. You may offer resolution where none is warranted.
So do yourself, your company, and your client a favor and step back before you strike.
Your response will get you farther.