Calming down an upset client: the ASAP model

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Maintaining good client relationships is a huge part of our business and having a plan in place to manage those relationships is critical for success. A very accomplished colleague of mine taught me the “ASAP” customer service model below – and it WORKS.

A is “apologize.” Even if it’s not your fault, apologize that a problem occurred.

S represents “sympathize.” Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Show them that you understand how they feel and why they would be upset.

A stands for “accept responsibility.” Too often we look for a person or process to blame. Accept responsibility for the mistake. The other person will be more willing to move on if you are not looking for excuses.

P means “prepare to take action.” Make a plan to solve the problem and ensure that it does not happen again.

You will be surprised by how far these four steps can get you. Do any of you have similar go-to best practices?


Jenni currently works with Adecco’s global Information Management team as a Business SME on the Candidate Management Programme - Social Media. She’s been with Adecco’s Professional Staffing division since 2010 and held roles in on-boarding and compliance, client account management and technical recruiting. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, yoga and working with an animal rescue group.

85 thoughts on “Calming down an upset client: the ASAP model”

  1. I think a lot of unreasonable policies cause a lot of upset applicants. For example, I cant work for adecco because of a criminal charge I have. That charge is a misdemeanor, possession of marijuana. I got caught with a roach in my ash tray. Not trafficking, no large quantity, no trouble caused to anyone. Just a young guy having fun. How many adecco recruiters or employees can say they have never smoked marijuana? I guarantee that is a very small number. The difference between them and I is, I got caught doing it, they did not. Society expects the criminals to turn their lives around and become productive. How is that possible when temp agencies and other employers are so strict with criminal background policies? I’m not even what I would consider a criminal. Here’s an example of what I am talking about. A drug dealer does… lets say 5 yrs in prison, he becomes a former drug dealer since he is in prison and no longer deals drugs. Comes out of prison with great intentions. Goes around applying wherever he can to get a job and keeps getting turned away because of his criminal background. Eventually gets discouraged, and possibly angry. Begins thinking to himself, “What am I going to do to make a legitimate living?” Starts thinking about how easy it was to be a dealer. Work your own hours, make as much money in a days time as you want. Goes right back to it because that’s his only hope of income other than something you cant rightfully support yourself with. I’m not saying all criminals make an effort at a straight life, but some do.

    1. If that is your only charge, there is a time limit to how long you cannot work for us for. Please feel free to talk to your Adecco office about this and if they are not aware, have them speak with their ROM. We do not hold one conviction against you forever.

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