A Field Guide to the Wonderful World of Clients
In the business world, there is always this one client that tends to frustrate the entire work place making it toxic by placing unreasonable demands. This gives rise to the question, is the customer always right? Here are some tips on how to identify these clients when they come around and some suggestions on how you can handle them.
1. The one who is not sure what he really wants.
Characteristics: This client can be easily identified as they easily have a change of heart. They say one thing on the phone and send another in a mail.
Solution: Once an approach is arrived at, make sure everything is in writing
2. He assumes there were some facts that were omitted.
Characteristics: He always wants more from the team, increasing the scope of the project every time.
Solution: Agree to perform jobs that are out of scope at an agreed up front price.
3. The customer who says he needed the job done yesterday.
Characteristics: This customer does not have an idea of a balanced space and timing, he believes that as long as he has an idea, the job is completed.
Solution: Be straight forward with them, if they become unrealistic, bring them to reality.
4. Believes everything is an emergency.
Characteristics: This client believes he is your only client hence he should be given 100% attention.
Solution: There should be a clear and established time table, by this, you can show him that you are on track. Let such clients know that you have some other clients
5. Clients that are unsure of the deadline and want to make it as close as possible.
Customer Type: These clients are sort of carefree and are not in the corporate loop.
Solution: you should agree on a time frame as early as possible and any additions that would place other clients in the disadvantage should be strongly resisted.
6. He does not care, leaving you to make the decisions.
Characteristics: They are not as informative as expected to be. Even when pressed for more details they do not have it to offer.
Solution: Take advantage of this and utilize the freedom provided by this client. Make sure he is informed when critical decisions are being made to avoid having to do it all over again.
7. The type that cares so much.
Characteristics: This type of client pays so much attention to details and you begin to wonder why they hired your services.
Solution: Make sure you know exactly what they want to accomplish. Tell them their approach would not be feasible if that is the case.
8. Client says she does not know what she wants but she knows what she does not want.
Characteristics: In this case she may not want everything you are proposing.
Solution: It is better not to sign a deal with this client as there is the potential there will be problems in the future.
9. The client is amazed at an extra cost, claiming to empty his bank account for the project.
Characteristics: These clients are found of pinching pennies, they always stick to the budget.
Solution: Agree to do the project at the initial price, if they want more options, then they should pay for it.
10. The customer claims not to know what a weekend is.
Characteristics: This client sends emails by 3am every day and schedules meetings after business hours. He is a workaholic and can even schedule project completion dates on Christmas day.
Solution: if their demands will take too much from your team do not be afraid to decline
11. The client hates a particular color for no reason.
Characteristics: Hinders the progress of the project as a result of an unexplainable dislike for some features.
Solution: Do not seek to know their color of preference, ask to know their goals and rely on your expertise to make the delivery. If they are difficult to impress, let them go.
12. Expects the job to be done in five minutes.
Characteristics: This client believes that what you do can be accomplished in a much shorter time frame as compared to yours.
Solution: Explain to her why it will take more than five minutes to complete the job, as this client seems to be unrealistic.
13. Clients like to make decision based on a committee.
Characteristics: As far as this client is concerned, even the least item of relevance should be determined by a committee.
Solution: Make them agree on appointing one contact person to be responsible for the entire team; however you will still maintain contact with the rest of the team. This will make you have an overview of the entire scope of work.
14. The lurking client.
Characteristics: This client keeps out of touch for an extended period of time and suddenly comes up with demands.
Solution: Be prepared at all times. The same time frame should be given to everyone. If it will take 7 days to complete an order, the same law should apply to this client.
15. This client compliments your jobs but prefers something entirely different.
Characteristics: These types of clients discover they want to go into a new project as at when you have finished their present request.
Solution: If what this client needs is beyond the scope of the original job, make it clear that there will be additional cost.
While dealing with clients, it may be difficult to please everyone, however, with this points in mind, you can be rest assured that you will have a happier team and a pleasant time at work.