A Field Guide to the Wonderful World of Clients
Clients run the business cycle. No matter what business you work for, they will always be there, and not all of them are easy to work with. Here are some tips on how to recognize challenging clients and what you should do with them.
1. The Indecisive
This client is characterized by his/her constantly changing opinions. They don’t know what they want, and, when they do, they will have a completely different idea later. The solution for this client would be to write down everything that is decided upon during the meeting. This way, if the client wants to make a major change about the course of the project you can send them a rejection.
2. The Insister
This client constantly insists on getting more. They will look at other projects you are currently working on and try to include it into theirs as well. The solution for this client would be to agree to do extra work, but only for an added upfront cost.
3. The Unaware
This client displays a complete lack of awareness of time and wants for everything to be done yesterday. The solution for this client would be to inform them about having more realistic expectations for your work.
4. The Emergency
This client believes that he/she is the only one you have and will take up your time with small details that they feel are important. The solution for this client would be to set up a clear schedule showing how you meet deadlines and that you are on track. Also, remind them that you have other clients as well.
5. The Flighty
This client is will first state that there is no deadline for the project, and then show up the day before stating that it must be done tomorrow. The solution for this client would be to form a timeline and decline to work on a project that will hinder your abilities to work on others.
6. The Hands off
This client prefers to have a hands-off approach and does not give the significant facts that are needed to pursue the project even when asked. The solution for this situation would be to take advantage of the freedom, but make sure that the client is present during critical stages.
7. The Extremely Specific
This client comes with specific ideas that leave no room for yours. They are trapped in their emotions and will not budge their ideas because of it. The solution for this client would be to let him/her know that their approach to the project won’t work.
8. The Picky Eater
This client knows more about what he/she doesn’t want than what he/she does. As a result, anything you propose will most likely be turned down. The only solution for this client would be to reject him/her because he/she will only bring your team down.
9. The Overly Frugal
This client is known for pinching his/her pennies and is always asking whether a service will cost extra. The budget they are sticking to is on the top of their priority list. The solution for this client would be to agree upon a reasonable price point for the project and to not do any extras they are unwilling to pay for.
10. The Workaholic
This client will push to do business after business hours. He/She doesn’t believe in having time off and will schedule for work to be done during the holidays as well. The solution for this client would be to stick to your schedule. If they continue to push you will have to say no because the toll it will take on your staff will not be worth it.
11. The Overly Judgemental
This client has a tendency to find a small detail that doesn’t work for them and halt all work as a result. The solution for this client would be to inquire what they wish to accomplish and recommend other options instead. If their unhappiness continues, it might be a good idea to refuse to continue the project altogether.
12. The Unrealistic
This client believes that he/she can do what you do in less time. The solution for this client would be to show her the process and explain why the job will not take the amount of time she thinks it will.
13. The Committee
This client has to make every decision, minor or irrelevant, through a committee. As a result, negotiations are time-consuming and compromises are almost impossible. The solution for this client would be to ask them to agree on a single representative. With this method, you are still in contact with the committee but are not having to deal with their overcrowding opinions.
14. The Ghost
This client comes up with a project idea in mind and then disappears for a while. When he/she comes back, they have immediate requests that must be done under a short deadline. The solution for this client would be to have a consistent expectation for all clients. Let him/her know that if a process will take weeks for your other clients, then it will take the same amount of time for him/her as well.
15. The Almost Dream Client
This client is perfect until he/she wants you to go in a completely different direction after the project is finished. The solution for this client would be to inform him/her about the additional costs of their requests, especially if it is far beyond the original price quote.
Customer service is always a priority for any business but sometimes, dealing with clients can be a nightmare. After reading this article you will be able to identify what category your problem client falls under and deal with them accordingly.