Navigating the Tricky Conversation: Telling Your Clients Their Problems Are Self-Made

In this blog, we'll explore the delicate art of professionally addressing issues with your clients that are, well, of their own making.


Picture this: you're dedicated to your clients' success, giving your all to provide exceptional support. Then, you realize that the issue they're grappling with is largely their own doing. Awkward, right? These conversations can be tricky, but they're essential for both your client's success and your own growth as a Customer Success expert.

In this blog post, we'll dive into the art of professionally addressing these situations. We'll explore why it's crucial, the common pitfalls to sidestep, and provide you with practical steps to elevate these discussions to a higher level.


By the end of this article, you will:

► Grasp the significance of addressing client-generated problems professionally.

► Recognize the most common pitfalls and master the art of avoiding them.

► Gain valuable insights and strategies for confidently navigating these sensitive conversations.

Why Is It Important?

You may wonder why it's necessary to have these conversations in the first place. Shouldn't we let sleeping dogs lie? Here's why it's not only important but absolutely crucial:

Builds Trust: Honesty and transparency are the bedrock of trust. Addressing the issue's source openly shows integrity and reinforces trust in your client relationships.

Problem Resolution: If your clients don't understand their part in the problem, they can't resolve it. By helping them see their role, you empower them to take corrective action.

Continuous Improvement: Encouraging clients to acknowledge their part in an issue fosters a culture of growth. It leads to informed decisions and prevents recurring problems.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid:

Navigating these conversations can indeed be challenging. To do it skillfully, watch out for these common pitfalls:

Blame Game: Avoid casting blame on your client. Instead, focus on collaboration and shared responsibility.

Emotional Escalation: Keep emotions in check and stay focused on the facts. Emotional conversations can escalate quickly.

Lack of Solutions: Don't just point out the problem; offer practical solutions and suggest ways to prevent similar issues in the future.

Practical Steps for Enhancement:

Now, let's delve into the practical steps that will help you shine in these delicate conversations:

Gather Data

Before approaching the client, gather substantial data and evidence to support your case. Utilize analytics, reports, and feedback to present the situation objectively.

Choose the Right Environment

Select an appropriate time and setting for your conversation. Opt for a private, one-on-one discussion to ensure the client's dignity is upheld.

Constructive Framing

Shape the conversation in a constructive manner. Phrases like "Let's collaborate to find a solution" work better than "You're responsible for this problem."

Offer Solutions

Provide actionable solutions and work closely with the client to implement them. Stress how these solutions will enhance their situation.

Follow Up

After the initial conversation, follow up with your client to ensure the problem is resolved. This showcases your commitment to their success.

Our Personal Opinion:

Professionally addressing client-generated problems is an indispensable skill in Customer Success. It fosters trust, encourages problem-solving, and cultivates a culture of growth.

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