Before I was about to write this post I googled ‘how to deal with a difficult client’ and I know there are a lot of good information out there already, so I’d like to keep this post brief, and begin with a story 🙂
I sighed one day to my wife telling her that our company currently has a difficult client, and that kept me awake at night and make me really nervous when checking my email inbox, and I told her we shouldnt have taken the client’s project. My wife said that I complained the same thing every couple of months, it seems that there are always difficult clients in my company’s roster.
In her book No More Cold Calling by Joanne Black that I read years ago, Joanne calls these difficult clients PITAs, or ‘Pain In The Ass’ customers (I wouldnt use those words). “PITA customers draining, using up valuable resources in the organization. Have too many PITA customers and before long, profits will dwindle. Serving a PITA customer takes away scarce resources that could have been used to go after the phenomenal client.”
Joanne suggested to avoid these PITA customers. We tried, but never succeeded. We always end up with at least one difficult client in any given moment. My wife is right. We are in the service business so we have to live with it. And as also suggested in the Google result websites, we have to try to listen more, be even better in service, and turn difficult client to someone who understand that we and they are in the same boat towards a common goal. Being difficult just gets in the way of achieving that goal.