Mishandling Clients: How We Become Our Own Worst EnemyBy Nina Kaufman, Esq.
When the going gets tough, the tough take a close look at how they handle their clients and customers. Who’s generating a less-than-fair fee for you? Who makes you cringe when you hear their voice on the other end of the line? Who’s always finding a way to drag out the payments? Yes, there is something worse than having no work to do. It’s working your butt off for someone who doesn’t appreciate your talent and stiffs you for the fee.
But the problem isn’t just with the annoying client. As the old cartoon character Pogo famously said, “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Where can we take some responsibility for how we’re handling our clients?
We can start by looking at where some of our client relationships went awry. As I mention in my article, “Isn’t It Time You Kept 100% of Your Fee . . . Every Time?” on WomenandBiz.com, make the time to write down all the different causes of client dissatisfaction. This could include:
- The price being higher expected
- The project becoming more involved than expected
- The client not getting the desired results
- Your lacking the right expertise for the assignment
- Snags in communication, as when dealing with more than one representative of a client
- Lack of clarity about the payment terms (e.g., if you are working on an hourly rate)
If you can identify what’s broken, you can take steps to fix it. Yes, even in this economy.