When it’s ok to want to slap your client
Ever felt like Ally McBeal dreaming of the big cartoon hammer knocking a less than reasonable client around the head? If you haven’t then you have been very lucky with the clients you have worked with.
Clients can be like naughty children and if their unreasonable behaviour goes unchecked they carry on.
The problem is they are the client - they pay your wages and are the life blood for the survival of your company.
I was running a workshop the other day and someone asked “is it really possible to have a ‘partnership’ with a client as the dynamic of the relationships is so unbalanced?”
“YES!” I say. We must stand up for the rights of Client Services teams and liberate them from the dutiful reaction to unreasonable demands.
In reality clients aren’t children and they are simply unaware of the impact of their ways of working. With the right focus these familiar scenes can be a thing of the past –
- You work late into the evening or over the weekend because the client has sent over a last minute requirement. Bad form, particularly when they have been sitting on it for over a week!
- The Client continues to drive for an unrealistic SLA or KPI with no idea where or why that measure is in place or why it matters. Bad form creating a constant battleground.
- The Client expects you to understand the future of their business without investing the time into explaining. Bad form and leads to misaligned expectations.
- The Client is dissatisfied but not willing to work together to resolve the issues. Bad form and a complete waste of time and resources.
These examples all lead to a very unproductive use of time, reduction in ability to add value and the very damaging reality of you being stressed and overworked.
Thankfully there are a lot of tools and skills that can be taught so that you can understand why the client works in the way they do, appropriately challenge them and in doing so create a solid framework for success.
Get to this place and you, the client and your company’s bottom line will start to be positively impacted.
With a bespoke workshop I can help you get you to a place where you are dancing in harmony with your clients – in the meantime it’s obviously never ok to actually slap your client - you might want to try a stress ball or a voodoo doll!
Feedback from a recent workshop: “A really diverse session that was very much tailored to our needs.” “I feel each of the members of the team and every current client were included to make a very relevant training session.” “Nerys did a fantastic job of making the session very identifiable and kept up the energy with a good mix of theory and exercises.” “Nerys met all of our needs while running a workshop that was engaging for all at all times, a rare and talented individual indeed!!”