Work and Career

How to Deal with Problematic Clients

For every great client that you land, there’s another one that makes you wish you never even crossed paths. For every dream client who loves your work, there’s another one out there who’s unhappy and dissatisfied and just drains you of your energy.

The sad thing is that there’s no early warning device that you can use to help you weed out the undesirables. There’s no way to know if they’re problematic clients until you accept the job and start working with them. Don’t panic, though. Here are a few things which you can do and keep your sanity intact.

Always Communicate

If your clients are happy with your work, they’ll let you know. They’ll do the same thing if they aren’t. Listen to what they have to say. Find out what their concerns are. Your goal is to establish why they don’t like the work. Once emotions have settled, you can then communicate back what you plan to do so that both parties are happy.

Remain professional even if the client is rude, angry, or annoyed. At the end of the day, you will feel proud of yourself that you did not lose your composure and that you turned a tense work situation into an emotional and personal one.

Professional tip: Use productivity tools that are at your disposal to keep your work organized. Kami is an effective tool that helps you update and communicate with your clients and your team. With Kami, you can easily view, share, edit, and annotate your documents. Collaboration is made even easier since Kami is also integrated with Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box for easier access.

Get Everything in Writing

When your clients give you a hard time because they are being indecisive, make sure that you get in writing everything that you have talked about and agreed upon. Make it clear to your clients that any changes or other additional work not included in the written agreement will be rejected or bear extra costs.

Manage Their Expectations

When a client gives you an impossible deadline or hands you a tremendous workload, educate your clients by giving them an idea of how long a certain process takes. If they still insist, let them know that such a close deadline could result in unsatisfactory work.

Some clients expect you to work on their project 24/7 because they assume they’re the only clients you have. To appease these kinds of clients, set clear timetables at the onset of a project and update them regularly on the status. This way, they’ll know that you’re right on schedule.

Don’t be afraid to say no, especially when it’s taking a toll on you or your team physically, mentally, and emotionally. Do whatever you can to accommodate their requests. But if they’re still unhappy and are still being unreasonable, don’t hesitate to dump them. There’s only so much that you can do.

Rouselle Isla

Contributor at Kami
Rouselle Isla

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