Almost every web designer has dealt with stubborn and overbearing clients who keep making unreasonable demands. Handling such clients is usually a very frustrating and tricky experience. You could choose to give them a piece of your mind and end up losing their business. Alternatively, you could adopt a more diplomatic approach and maintain the relationship. Here are some tips which will help you deal with these difficult clients successfully.
1. Educate your customers tactfully
Since you have the technical expertise, you need to educate your customers on what would work for their best interests. To further emphasize your point, you could show them actual mockups of different sites. The important thing is to argue your case as tactfully as possible. This will enable the customer to see the sense in what you are saying without getting offended. However, despite all your efforts, there are some customers who will still remain stubborn. In such cases, you need to humbly surrender to your their wishes, however unreasonable they might be. Make the best of the situation, even though you know the project could have been done in a better way. Ultimately, it’s the customer who will have to deal with the consequences of their poor choices.
2. Keep your clients updated
As you do through the design process, it is very important to keep your clients updated on the progress. Failing to offer such updates might cause your customers to develop feelings of uncertainty and lack of control. You need to provide a functional phone number and email address which they can use to contact you. Knowing that they can reach you and make inquiries will give them a sense of assurance. Make sure you respond promptly whenever someone gets in touch with you. Whenever customers feel ignored, they are likely to get agitated.
3. Be patient
It is not the easiest thing to be patient especially when dealing with a particularly annoying customer. However, as a professional, you need to handle the situation in an objective way. Realize that the client might be acting out of sheer stubbornness or ignorance. Therefore, don’t take their complaints or criticism in a personal way. Trying to prove to them that they are wrong will only make the bad situation worse. Customers who are offended might decide to revenge by spreading bad publicity about your business on the internet. The general principle to apply here is that the customer is always right. However, this does not mean that you have to do everything they demand at the expense of your reputation. Explain to them in a calm way the negative repercussions of doing things their way, and offer a better alternative. Handling the matter professionally might help you retain the client, as well as protect your reputation.
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