Have you ever wondered if the words that are coming out of your mouth sound different to some people? Have you ever had a client who waited until the last minute to order a product or service and even though they wanted it the next day you had to explain that it wasn’t possible to get it that quick, then you and I probably have something to talk about over a beer. I’ll meet you at happy hour.
Being in the marketing business I cannot tell you how many times I have had a client order a marketing campaign and say they needed it out the very next day, and having to explain to them that it cannot be done that fast and tell them it would be two days or three days, whatever the case is, and sure enough the very next day they are calling asking if it is going out today. I have had customers order an email list or mailing list and want it the next day, and I have had to explain to them that it takes time to pull a list and that production pulls them in the order that they come, and that the normal delivery is two business days and the very next day they call asking for their list. Do the words coming out of my face sound like this? ^$^&*_+(*^$^%()_(_(_(_^%$? Sometimes I feel like I need one of those universal translators like they have on Star Trek.
The customer is always right, right? Wrong. Sometimes it is necessary to be firm but professional with a client and tell them that this is your procedure, and that calling every day is not going to make it any faster. If this does not work and it is a regular customer don’t be afraid to tell them you cannot take any more orders from them. Sometimes it is necessary to”fire a customer”. Now that may seem a bit extreme and is not something I would recommend every time a client irritates you because you will end up with no clients. But it is necessary on occasion. I once had a client that ordered a list at the end of the day and I told him two days, and the very next morning we came into the office with emails to every email address he could find, messages on every extension and after calling him and telling them that not only wasn’t this necessary but not acceptable and still he kept calling every few hours over the next day and a half. After I delivered his list I politely advised him we would not be able to fill any of his orders in the future. This was a case where the money was not worth the hassle. So sometimes it’s okay to give the client the ax. Sometimes you have to put up with a lot of crap as a business, and before you do anything you need to measure the hassle verse the profit and ask yourself if it is worth it. I have often found though that just being direct, firm but professional and explaining how you feel and how things work will often nip the problem in the bud without having to lose the client.