27 September 2010

When Clients Attack!

By Rana Qubain

Clients are one of the most important assets of a company. However, some of your most profitable clients can be the most annoying as well. Like any other relationship, client relationships can be peppered with moments of confusion and frustration. Yet, with a good strategy in place you can bring harmony to your relationship and can help you create long term partnerships with them. Most employees who have direct contact with clients regularly face many types of clients; therefore, they should be able to handle different kinds of clients effectively. 5 types of clients that you might meet at work and the best way to deal with each one of them.

The Bargain Hunter

Most Bargain Hunters are successful entrepreneurs who struggled their way to build successful businesses and gather their wealth. Therefore, they are not willing to spend a penny if they feel there is a way out of it. Those clients act as if the price you first offered is just the starting point for negotiations. The best way to handle Bargain Hunters is to give them a taste of their own medicine. This means to start with relatively high prices and then lowering them down to a point that is acceptable for both parties. If your company offers fixed prices, stress your service features while comparing your prices with those of your competitors.

The Urgent Client

Everything is an emergency for Urgent Clients. All their emails are of high priority. They may even stress that in the title of the email, the body and whenever they call you. They are workaholics by nature, working at night and on the weekends, and they expect everyone else they work with to do the same. Although they know that they are not your only client, they still act as if they are. The best way to deal with an Urgent Client is to make it clear from the beginning that some of their requests are unreasonable and that you need more time to be able to perfect the outcome.

The Absent Client

The Absent Client is the most stressful type of clients to deal with; they make you chase them around with phone calls and emails with no response whatsoever. An Absent Client may disappear for many days which might drive you to wonder if he is still in business. They will reappear eventually, without any warning asking about the progress of the project. Remember one important thing; your best clients are the busy ones as they are the ones who are constantly in need of your services. Therefore, you should be able to keep them pleased by finalizing the work with minimum hassle and with the limited input you were provided with initially.

The Angry Client

The Angry Client is continuously and aggressively attacking your work, asking for changes and accusing you of not doing your job right. One important advice to take into consideration when dealing with this type of clients is to understand that they are not attacking you personally and that they are only expressing their frustration with the company as a whole. Therefore, remain calm and try to listen more than you talk. Stay patient and show them that you care by asking them more questions about the problem while assuring them that you will be handling the problem to their satisfaction.

The Appreciative Client

The Appreciative Client always praises your work and makes you feel special. They make your life easier by choosing the first prototype of every task that you finish. Appreciative Clients always refer your company to other people and might also recommend you personally to other companies. Therefore, reward goodness with goodness by giving them continuous attention and making them feel like a VIP. You can initiate a kind gesture by sending a thoughtful gift upon successfully closing the deal, as this will place your company name into his heart and mind.

Dealing with clients can sometimes be similar to dealing with children at their terrible twos. Clients can be whiny, demanding, impatient, moody and complaining which might result in ruining your whole day and adding more stress to your busy life. However, remember that you are dealing with a human being who is probably under a lot of pressure from a boss, a budget or a deadline. Know your clients and manage your relationship with them in order to keep them coming back for more. Keep in mind that good client servicing does not only result in building repeat business but also in acquiring referrals and generating positive word of mouth for years to come.

Rana Qubain is the Marketing Coordinator of Akhtaboot - the career network, the Middle East's leading online recruitment website. Rana currently works on different projects covering competition analysis and new product development of career related service.

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