Client Management Tips to Avoid Headaches by Dina Biser

Client Management Tips to Avoid Headaches by Dina Biser

As a client manager, you're likely to encounter all sorts of great people, with whom you'll get to share amazing experiences. Said no one ever. The sad truth is that the person on the other side has a million problems, and they need you to be an easy solution. If your relationship is not going too well for whatever reason, try to pinpoint the problem and act accordingly. Here are some tips on how to approach the most frequent complaints:

Client: I expected this would cost less/this was also included!

Tip: Always write everything down! Make sure that your scopes and contracts of any sort are detailed and include requirements, dates, cost, terms etc. Execute each step only after it has been officially approved. Your client needs to understand everything that's happening - answer what, when, and how much questions before they are even asked. If they are penny-pinching, it’s probably because they have another person controlling the purse strings. Don’t we all?!

Client: I'm not sure what I want/I hate what you did for some reason/I like it, but John hates it...

Tip: You'll likely talk over the phone/in person with them and they will be bursting with ideas or will have none. In both cases be sure you ask all the right questions and write down the answers. Send a detailed follow up and confirm that everything is approved in writing by the person in charge. In cases where you’re faced with an entire committee deciding on every minor thing, get them to decide on a single person contact - this person will be in charge of all approvals.

Client: This is urgent/I didn't know that this would take so much time!

Tip: Set reasonable expectations for all of your clients. They need to understand the turnaround time in advance and you should follow through every time. Don't send your work before you've completed everything that was agreed upon. This sets an unwanted precedent and unreasonable expectations. You need your beauty sleep and they need to distinguish emergencies from I-just-want-this-done-ASAP-because-reasons.

Client: I want this done my way or not at all!

Tip: If you think something is a bad idea don't be afraid to tell them! You're the expert in your field and they hired you for a reason. In most cases, your client will at least listen to your idea and be grateful that you're not just blindly following their orders. Best case scenario, they'll actually change their mind and you’ll prove that you’re not a dime a dozen!

Most relationships take time and investment on both sides. If the issue persists and you feel under pressure, honesty is the best policy. Pick up the phone or talk over a cup of coffee - 9 times out of 10 your client is not even aware of the problem you're having with them and will react positively to your honesty. After all, you're both human!

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