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    8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 3, 2014 9:50 AM by Moderator Melinda

    Demanding clients

    Guide

      Had a very good client of ours express some frustration in not receiving drawings in the time frame that they had expected to. This client has been with us since the start of our business and has always been satisfied. As the years went bye, I had noticed that they have become more and more demanding simply because we had catered to their needs, as we could without loosing other clients. It has never been a problem for either one of us, up till now. We certainly don't want to loose this client; however, we have several other projects as well that are equally as important.

       

      How many of you have had this problem? How did you handle it? Did you wind up loosing them or were you able to reach an agreement that both parties were happy with?  

        • Re: Demanding clients
          AngelBiz Tracker

          Melinda - This is the dilemma many business owners face at some point - particularly those that rely on one or few clients for majority of their business. As your business grows and number of clients you need to serve increases you have to balance between all of them. I advise my clients to explain the situation to demanding client and satisfy their needs to the best of your ability. However, if it becomes excessive you have to let it go at some point, otherwise it will become bottleneck to your growth.

            • Re: Demanding clients
              Moderator Jim Ranger

              Good advice, AngelBiz. Is there ever a point where a client is too demanding and you just have to take the step and say, "I'm sorry, but we can't fit your needs" then refer them to a competitor?

               

              Jim

                • Re: Demanding clients
                  dream2clean Wayfarer

                  I would suggest getting an agreement up front on the timeline...then live by it.  No sense losing a client if you can avoid it.  Agreeing to terms at the outset will keep you on track to meet the clients needs while taking into account your other clients needs.  

                  • Re: Demanding clients
                    AngelBiz Tracker

                    Absolutely. When you are sacrificing business with other 10 customers at the expense of 1 it is time to say goodbye to that demanding customer and move on to the other 10.

                      • Re: Demanding clients
                        Guide

                        Unfortunately, the architectural business is not as cut and dry as a time frame in a contract. We usually are really good at delivering when we say that we can. But in the building industry, there are almost always unforeseen circumstances that we as a company do take into consideration at all times. The client, not so much. Up till now, this client has always had the fortunate experience of having a project completed without hiccups from unforeseen circumstances. Which makes things easier on one hand and harder on the other when things do happen. Unfortunately, politics also plays an important part when it comes to the local township. We had the unfortunate experience of a city official, which knew our company very well and worked closely with us for many years, retire. So it seems that we are faced with red tape of a young wiper snapper flexing their muscles. Bad timing all around for us and our client. We certainly would like to get to know the new official better (which is time consuming) seeing as how we may very well be doing business together for a long time without loosing our very important client.  So far, we are able to hang on to both.

                  • Re: Demanding clients
                    Jim Peters Tracker

                    Hi Melinda,           We all face such situations in our business.Don't be disheartened, I am sure by communicating with your client he will see reason into it.I always try and give more time to clients in such situations.It is really important for the clients to know that we are dealing unforseen hiccups and we are dealing with it with utmost importance.           Think positive and the results will be positive. Hope you will be able to solve it soon.

                      • Re: Demanding clients
                        Guide

                        Hi Jim,

                         

                        Thank you for your words of encouragement. Things are so far so good. Our client I believe has put things on a scale to realize that many other companies would not have dealt with this same situation as we have. As far as the politics is concerned, it is a very slow process but has been manageable (probably do to the secretary that has worked with our company for many years). Time is something that we have always allotted to all of our clients (some need more than others). I believe our patience has paid off in this situation. Will let everyone know if and when the smoke clears. Until then, please feel free to offer any experiences that you may have had in such a situation.  Thanks again.

                         

                        Melinda 

                          • Re: Demanding clients
                            Guide

                            Just wanted to follow up and thank everyone for the words of encouragement offered.

                             

                            Ultimately, our company decided to make the extra effort with our client and keep a once a week check up 10 minute call even though nothing changed at that given point in time. At the same time, the head architect decided to make more frequent trips to the township if for nothing else than to get to know the new official a little better. It turned out to be the right move. Our issue has been resolved. Our client had his project approved, we were able to finish our drawings, and everyone is happy. Since then, this particular client gave us raving reviews to a new client (made a great beginning to our new year) and the township official greets our calls with a pleasant tone (our drawings now seem to flow easier within the township).  

                             

                            Melinda