How dealing with an angry client transformed my career

 One hot day about 5 years ago, in Kampala, Uganda I was racing through a heavy afternoon traffic jam trying to catch the rocket bus to Jinja  
I had a half-eaten chapati rolex in on hand, an ice-cold bottle of plastic soda in the other, and a backpack on my back.
And I was about to throw myself into a lion’s den of angry, roaring clients. And I didn’t know if I would make it out with my tender young consulting career still intact or in bloody tatters.
Flashback to earlier that day.
I got a panicked call from our biggest advertising client’s agency firm on the angry client’s account.

Hello, Godfrey?

Yes

The Bank is livid.

What’s wrong?
Seems they saw the same image we used on their advert in the July issue in somebody else’s advert.

what?

Yeah, can you come in RIGHT NOW, so we can figure out what we’re going to do?

I rushed over to their offices and we spent the next couple of hours debating how to do damage control.

The client was a billion-shilling Chinese financial institution. This single client accounted for over 80% of the magazine revenues from advertising. The pressure was piling from both sides – at the office and the client- the bank!

Finally, the Managing Director of the agency firm said, “Godfrey, I think you should go and meet with the client face-to-face. Today.”

At the moment, my pressure was already high. Heartbeat was so fast. I could hardly breathe. However, I swallowed hard.

I said to myself…

But I’m just 2 months into the company
But I don’t speak Chinese well enough yet

I’ve only been in Kampala a few months
I have no experience dealing with ticked-off clients
I’m scared out of my wits.

All of that was true.

But I didn’t say any of that.

I nodded, got to my feet, headed to our kafunda eating place, ordered for a Rolex and soda, then sprinted to the Quacel Bus park by then

I made it to the bus park. And as I ate my remaining half of the Rolex and I wondered if I’d still be a consultant if I had failed to make it to Jinja.

 

Lesson:

For every challenge, see the opportunities that arise from the challenge. At Summit Consulting Ltd, we help organizations like yours to seize each opportunity. We draw from vast expertise to help you position your organization for tough times. To contact us or make an appointment, email support@summitcl.com or call +256 414231136  and ask to speak to Godfrey for a meeting.

 

 

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