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October 24, 2017

A difficult client… can they be good for business?

difficult clientOne of the services we offer our clients is content development… creating blog posts, eBooks, etc. We have very talented writers on our team – they know the topics and they know how to write.

We also had this one particular client who nit-picked (at least we thought so) all the time and pushed back on our writing until we got it “perfect.” Very frustrating!

Amongst ourselves, we used to frequently complain about this client… that they were just a big ol’ pain in the a**!

But, guess what? We were wrong!

It dawned on me that, even though they were a difficult client, they were teaching us how to get better… providing us with the motivation and showing us a roadmap for improving our processes. So, we changed our mindset and allowed them to “take us to school.” As a result, we dramatically changed the way we were doing things.

First and foremost, this client appreciated our response – that we acknowledged we weren’t delivering up to their expectations and were willing to do what it took to get better.

More importantly, though, working with this kind of difficult client and responding as we did helped us to get better in the way that we work with all of our clients now. New processes… better communications… and, as a result, more impactful deliverables and client expectations met or exceeded.

So, before you go sulking off in a corner somewhere because you’ve got one client who just “wears you out,” take a step back and see if, just maybe, the client’s complaints are warranted (they probably are). Or if you need to communicate more effectively (you probably do). Or if some of your internal operational processes have room for improvement (I promise you… they do!).

So, when you get that whiny client…

  • Listen to what they say
  • Gather your team to see where things can be improved
  • Then make the improvements and let the client know about the changes

And, finally, make sure to thank that client, too! Start by acknowledging that they were a little “challenging” to work with (they know they were) – but as a result – they pushed you to get better.

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