Any business needs to deal with customers that are awkward and you have to adopt the old ‘Customer is always right’ strategy or you’ll get nowhere. I keep to this mostly but its hard sometimes! What do you do when clients take the piss!?
I pride myself on being Fast, Efficient and affordable. I’ve always been sadly efficient in most things I do, I used to do my homework in school BEFORE I came home and I got reports out of the way in college within hours of getting them and with months to go before they needed to be submitted. I’ve also got a touch of OCD in that everything I do, touch or live amidst has to be clean and tidy. These traits are a bit sad and would set me on a course for long term institutional care if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m running a business and when you run a business being efficient and tidy are essential!
Therefore, when someone ‘mistreats’ me either by calling my services expensive, or slow or just useless after I go out of my way for people then I tend to loose the head and tell them to get lost. This happened a couple of times in the last two years with a biggish projects when the clients continually demanded alterations to a site that I had said couldn’t and shouldn’t be done. Basically they wanted a 10k site for 2k and when they refused to listen to my advice as the designer and became a bit rude I had no option but to end the project. Even then I felt I had to finish off the site for my own professional pride and my reluctance to leave a job unfinished.
To compound matters, I wasn’t paid in full for these jobs and am still chasing the remainder of the money owed to me for one of them. The great thing about being in web design is that if I don’t get paid I retain control of the product and can ‘take back’ my work at any stage simply by taking down the site. Its a last resort of course but what other option do you have when clients take the piss?
PS – A message for anyone out there who receives an invoice and puts it on the long finger and forgets it – People like to be paid on time for work done, just like you would.