Dealing with Difficult Clients (Part I)

“The customer is always right” is a mantra that we hear tossed around a lot.

There is no doubt that great customer service is an essential part of running a business. Clients and customers are, after all, a necessary element to our success, so it only makes sense that we treat them right.

But what happens when we find ourselves in a situation where a client ends up being more than a handful?

As you know, employee satisfaction is an important of your business as well, so dealing with these kinds of situations requires diligence and finesse on the part of the leader or employer. If not handled properly on the company’s side of things, difficult clients can cause a lot of grief for our employees (and us), affecting employee satisfaction and in turn, overall productivity, possibly leading to the dissatisfaction of other customers.

To help you prevent any dissatisfaction among your employees, we’re going to talk about several different ways to help you deal with difficult clients. For today, we’ll talk about the kinds of clients who often present us with trouble. Take a look below:

Types of difficult clients 

There are a number of reasons why you might find a client to be especially difficult. Understanding how to deal with these clients begins with understanding exactly what kind of client they are, and what you need to look out for when you come across them in order to prevent further difficulties.

Here are a few brief descriptions of some of difficult clients you might run across:

The micromanaging client. This client often requires an exceptional amount of attention and has little trust in your work.

It can be hard for some clients to not want to be involved in the work you are doing for them. This is certainly understandable seeing as the finished product has to be exactly what they want. However, this can end up being a problem when the client tries to be involved in everything, preventing you from finishing the product you were hired for, which can put a lot of undue stress on you.

The client who is vague about what they want. This client usually doesn’t give much feedback or explanation as to what they want. 

Other times, a client might not know exactly what they want, leaving it up to you to make those decisions. While the freedom is nice, there is the likelihood that you might not give them what they actually want, meaning that you end up putting in a lot of work into something that will never be used—a big waste of time for you and your employee.

The client who changes their mind frequently. This client will often change their opinion on the vision of the project either during, or even worse, after the work has been completed.

Sometimes, we do projects that end up not being what the client envisioned, and that is perfectly normal. However, when you have a client who constantly goes back and forth on your work, you could end up doubling the workload of your employees, which can cause a lot of stress on them and also make them feel like they are bad at their job.

Check back tomorrow to see the rest of our posts when we discuss how to deal with these clients. In the meantime, do you have any stories of a difficult client? How did you handle it? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!