Labour intensive clients - what would you do?

8 replies
I'm not sure if I'm actually asking something here or just letting off steam, but this man is driving me mad. I've always offered and given full support with everything I've sold, and truly believe that the only silly question is one that hasn't been asked. However, the amount of questions coming from this particular client are far in excess of any that are asked by other clients - every time I've opened my inbox for the last week he seems to be there, with an enquiry that almost always involves SCREECHING CAPITAL LETTERS and EXCESSIVE EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!! It's not unusual to hear from him three or four times an hour.

I feel I'm being asked to do everything short of run his new website business for him, and am fully expecting his next move to be an attempt to suck my blood through one of his USB ports. As a result, my other clients won't be getting my full attention (not least because I'm probably going to walk away from the PC and spend the next two hours hitting pillows hard). He now appears to have lost his password ('none of THEM WORK!!!!!!!!!!' - I don't know how many he thinks he's got there for one wordpress installation). This is not something I'd find difficult to resolve, but I can't help wondering 'what next?'

In four years of online business, I've never encountered anyone quite like him. It's very tempting to refund him, delete his account and block his e-mails, but that's not my style. What would you do? Furthermore, it occurs to me that I might be the one being unreasonable here. What do you think?

Thanks. I'm off for a spot of pillow bashing...
#clients #intensive #labour
  • Profile picture of the author patfl
    I would refund and blacklist his email... Nobody has right to make somebody's else life a hell, not even a paid customer...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[27052].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Carlsbadd
    Take the time to get the client on the phone and disarm the situation. Many people are not as brave on the phone as they are through the keyboard.

    Also set up some rules with all your clients lilke, I answer emails between the hours of x and x I am located in x time zone, so please expect to hear back on your issues in that time.
    Part of running a business is training clients as to how your business is run.

    As I said I would set up a client call and if you can't get the issue resolved then refund and move on.
    Don't be afraid to tell the client he is being unreasonable, somtimes standing up to a bully will disarm them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[27075].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
      The beauty of working online is that you can choose who you work with.

      My view is:

      It really comes down to how much you value your time and whether you believe you've provided reasonable support in relation to the expectation you set with your sales system.

      If you said "call me day or night and I'll be there for you until you're happy" that's one thing. If you said "I am available for a number of follow-up sessions" that could be different.

      So - Is this persons expectation reasonable?

      Do you feel you've lived up to your promises?

      The options then can be:

      1 - Readjust his expectations in line with what you want to be the new behaviour.

      2 - Accept that you may have given expectations which you weren't ready to follow through on and work out how to change things.

      3 - If he's just a miserable git - refund him and decide how you would like things to work from now on to avoid it happening again.

      Whatever you decide - don't take it personally. Just make sure you're happy with the way you run your business and end problems like this as soon as possible if they occur and move on.


      nothing to see here.

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[27095].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author dwieder
      i had a previous experience like this. what i did is i gave the money back and never listened to her again. she is a toxic. she keeps on telling that i shuld do this and that over and over again and she is always saying that my articles are poorly written but in fact, it is not. she is really a monster.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[27104].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author chriswight
    Apply the 80/20 ruthlessly. Unless the time you spend working with this guy is paying off financially, cut him loose.

    Chris Wight

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[27107].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Diana Lane
      Thanks, everyone - plenty of food for thought there. I think Andyhenry managed to come quite close to what I've been thinking - that I'm in the wrong in not defining any boundaries before they were stepped over. I'll have to come up with some way to address that. I'm very flexible support-wise and have always delivered what's promised and more, but even I can only bend over backwards so far.

      Thanks again to all for taking the time to respond - it's appreciated.

      Plot short fiction, long fiction, even outline non-fiction * Edit the question prompts to suit your genre * Easily export text and image files for use with your word processor or Scrivener.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[27436].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Collette
        I agree with Andy. At this point, I'd try to resolve the situation as best you can, either with a refund, or a chat about expectations.

        Sometimes dissatisfied clients who have had their problems resolved are your best referrals, so it MAY be worth your time.

        However, I'd also be looking at my client 'feeder' process, and making sure it never happens again.

        For example, I work with a simple Letter of Agreement that spells out EXACTLY what the scope and expectations of the project are. That way, if a client suddenly and independently revises the project, I can refer to the agreement.

        Personally, I found that when I tightened up my Letter of Agreement, I never had this problem again. Seems it sort of makes the client pay attention BEFORE you get going with the project.

        Good luck. Clients like this can suck the life out of you. And they totally cost you - in energy, focus, and production.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[27493].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    Some people are just not worth the hassle. When I was young, in 24 BC, I worked at tech support for software. The same people would call over and over for endless help with things they should have known.

    One person even told me: "I just want you on the line in case I have a problem" and proceeded to fill my ears with "click click, click click click" I could have screamed.

    Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[27554].message }}

Trending Topics