I am sure we can all relate. If you have been in business for any amount of time and dealt directly with clients at lease one or two of these have happened to you.
– Client has not idea what you do for them
I wrote an articled recently about being more valuable to your clients so they understand how much you actually do for them. If you are not a law practice that has strict billing processes you often incorporate so many of the steps, skills and tasks to accomplish the best results for clients but seldom let the clients know. So when you have done all of those little extras and you hear from a client that you failed at this or that nit picky thing you just want to reach into the phone and commit an act you will be sorry for. To a point you listen to the unreasonable, incorrect and inaccurate portrayal of the real facts and try your damnedest not to explode.
– Client believes you have the Golden Arches on your front lawn
How about the client that says “But I sent that you this morning!” fully expecting you and your staff to drop absolutely everything to deal with whatever this client sent over. Or better yet, the client who regurgitates from the list of his e-mail history. “Sent you XYZ last Tuesday and I never got a reply.” Well Tuesday was yesterday and the work was significant. Not all functions happen with the snap of a finger.
– Client wants a reduced price because you didn’t cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s
This Client tortured your staff, was abrasive and demanding. Unhappy people are sometimes unhappy when they wake up and think everyone is out to get them or at least make their lives miserable. These are the clients that infect the culture, diminish creativity and ultimately wind up with completed work that exactly what they contracted for and nothing more.
You cannot changes the stops on this leopard so don’t even try. Getting involved in an e-mail thread that goes not where only make matters worse. Phone calls have a little better chance of improving the situation, but not much especially if you are short on allowing the client to be right, all the time.
It may take a some meditation, yoga, prayers or other practice to keep your emotions in check. However, there are limits. Just make sure you have thought out your responses beforehand. Clients are hard to come by. Each one is valuable to your company. You cannot fire them for being who they are, but you cannot allow them to run rough shod over you, your staff or your company.
Unreasonableness might make your days a bit rougher but if you handle the situations that cranky clients throw at you you will be better off and they will still be themselves. Just remember that when you onboard new clients you have an opportunity to decided if they will be good for you company.