Sometimes you have clients you admire, you like to work with, or you even love. And sometimes you have clients that are not so likable. Clients from Mars.
Their wishes and requests might sound so alien that you simply think they are from a different planet.
We collected a few statements and what you should learn from them. If any great one is missing make sure to leave a comment in the comment section below.
“I’d like the white space more if there was more stuff in it.”
Your lessons learned: Follow-up questions save you a lot of time!
Managing expectations is key. Sometimes your clients or colleagues have a hard time describing the idea or problem they have. Make sure to always follow up and get the specific information you need.
Let’s make you famous!
Your lessons learned: What’s the client’s goal?
This sounds like a hilarious statement, however, there might be some truth in it. Your client probably has specific goals and targets in mind when building a new website.
Make sure to uncover those aims right at the beginning.
Check the obvious first
Sometimes you’re in a rush, and then you’ll need to be the firefighter fixing the problem. And sometimes there are situations like this one:
I was at the airport, ready to leave for vacation when I got a panicked phone call from a client. She stated that the video I sent her – part of a large marketing campaign – was missing the sound. After a lot of shouting and threats on her part, I agreed to go to her office try and fix it.
After being escorted into her office, I played the video and double-checked her computer’s sound options. Then I unplugged her headphones. Then I billed her for my missed flight.
Your lessons learned: sometimes the solution is obvious
As designers and developers, we tend to focus on complex solutions. However, the easiest solution might sometimes be the best one. Especially when facing time constraints the easiest solution is the best hack for your customer.
Could you make the logo bigger? Please!!!
Your lessons learned: Ego is not everything
As people, we tend to be egocentric. Driven by our own needs we forget to overlook what’s really important for our customers.
Logo requests like this one are just one valve of being egocentric-driven. Make sure to educate your customers on how to focus on customer problems.
And what do you dislike?
Your lessons learned: Your customer’s customers are your best friends
When crafting a new website or application for external customers, changes are high that the created software must be aligned to a 3rd party’s needs.
So when creating something for your customer’s customers, they are your best friends. Understanding their needs, behavior is not only important for the designed solution but also helps your customers to better understand them.
Are you a Freelancer?!
Some of those stories seem to be from another planet.
After sending two invoices for payment, I sent another and called the client when the receipt that they had received it came back.
CLIENT: Why are you calling me?
ME: You haven’t paid and this is the third invoice I’ve sent.
CLIENT: It’s even more than the last one!
ME: Yes. The contract you signed stated that I would add a late fee for payment.
CLIENT: You mean I have to actually pay you? I thought you were joking!
ME: What on earth made you think that?
CLIENT: You’re a freelancer!
CLIENT: Well, you work for free! If you were supposed to be paid, you’d be called a paidlancer or something!
Your lessons learned: Be transparent right away
Such situations result due to miscommunication in the beginning. If there is not only a signed contract but also clear communication in the first place, you’ll prevent yourself from such situations happening.
I would rather use Chrome, not the internet.
Your lessons learned: Over-invest in education
If you team up with clients and companies from not-so-tech-savvy industries, you need to take more time into consideration when collaborating with them.
I prefer to call that “education time” and it is something which you must take into consideration for your project and resources planning.
Go, hire your neighbor’s son.
Your lessons learned: Finding the right customers
If you’re being compared to a 16-year-old kid who’s building websites for his neighbors, it is a clear signal that there might be a mismatch. When facing these situations you have the following options:
- Educating your customer why your service cannot be compared to someone’s neighbor’s son
- Determining the customer relationship
Wrapping it up.
Well, I guess it’s not only the tech industry. It seems there are clients from Mars in other areas too.
So what’s the takeaway here? Like fairy tales those client collaborations have lessons in them. Be aware of them. Communication is one of the core challenges we see in today’s business world.
If you have experienced similar situations, make sure to leave a comment below!
PS: We do love our clients! Really! We could not be more grateful for having such awesome customers!
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