How to deal with problem clients

Having your own business and dealing with clients can be tough, but some clients can be needlessly so. So here are some tips and warning signs to look out for in clients that will make your life more difficult instead of lining your pockets!

Create a portfolio of the ideal client

This does not have to be an actual portfolio; it can even just be an internal list of characteristics or features that you expect from your clients. It might be strange to think of it in this manner, but just as the client chooses you and your services you have to accept to take this client on and all the potential difficulties that might come with them! Most businesses have a target audience that they aim to provide services or products to so try to stick to this “model” client.

How to deal with problem clients

Screen clients

It is always a good idea to try and meet up with your client first before accepting any potential work. This does not have to be a long meeting, but it will just reveal a bit more about the client, what the client expects from you, and if you think you would be capable of working with this client.

If they keep trying to fight prices

Do not let a client talk you into lowering your prices. If you provide a good quality service or product, then your prices are non-negotiable. Be firm about this but try not to be rude about the manner in which you achieve this.

If they do not respect you

Respect goes a long way. If they do not respect you and trust your skills in the field, then they might not be worth it. You are not there to be ordered about but to provide a service, so if they treat you poorly then rather let the client go.
If they complain about past experiences

This can be a very good warning sign. If someone keeps complaining about past service experiences, the likelihood is high that you will end up on their list of businesses that they will be complaining about. Some people complain for the sake of complaining and will not be satisfied with any services rendered.

How to deal with problem clients

If they threaten with posting bad reviews

Nowadays many people use online reviewing as a method to get their way. Do not let clients manipulate you into delivering a service in a manner you are uncomfortable with or to take a job in the fear of getting a bad review. If they do post a bad review, just calmly explain your side of the story and let it be. Your other positive reviews will show your good work.

If they do not follow your company policies

This links in with respect. If you have guidelines and policies, then it is expected from your clients to respect this and follow these guidelines or at least discuss it with you in an appropriate manner. If they fail to do this now, they will keep failing to do this and it will get more difficult to manage this client in the future.

Trust your gut

If you feel uncomfortable with something regarding your client, then rather trust yourself and don’t accept the job. Oftentimes, your gut will be right as you have consulted with many potential clients before and start getting a feel for the easier clients. So, if it feels off, it probably is.