Some projects are harder than others, and similarly, some clients are more easy to please than others. Is it ever really ok to fire a client? Well, sometimes it’s necessary, but it’s never a nice thing to do.
Often we need to part ways with a client when we cannot meet their expectations within a given budget. Sure, sometimes clients aren’t sure if something will take 10 minutes, 10 hours or 10 days, but a good client will always approach you for advice and trust your opinion. When this relationship of trust breaks down, trouble begins and can often be a struggle to bring a client back on to good terms.
The fact is, it’s best to avoid taking on a client that’s not a good fit in the first place. That’s easier said than done, as you can’t always see it at first glance.
Here are some ways to avoid taking on clients that aren’t a good fit for your business:
- Start with your pitch and proposal – avoid a template proposal for anything other than key information about your agency. Everything else needs to be customised for the particular project and client you are dealing with. it takes a little longer but forces you to analyse what each aspect of the proposal means to the client, and this is a massive opportunity to set expectations and think about how the solutions fit with that particular client.
- Watch what you say on the phone – it’s all too easy to overpromise and underdeliver, and this leads to problems. Try to end every conversation with ” I’ll summarise all that in an email for you just now” then do it. Keeping a written record of all requests (even the smaller seemingly insignificant ones) helps you to build a picture of the actual value you are delivering for a client over the course of the project.
- Use phases – splitting your clients project into a number of phases helps to avoid mission creep and improves project closure rates. Try to get the site online as early on as possible, adding additional feature requests and improvements to different phases of a project, rather than lumping them into an existing project, or assign them to support.
Of course, the main way to avoid having to fire a client is to make sure that you work with clients that suit your agency. All too often when times are tight, we end up taking on a project which we later wish we hadn’t, for a client we’d rather not work with – bills have to be paid after all.
If you find that you are taking on this kind of client more often then you like, then consider buying leads from Web Design Index. We’ll work with you to identify the clients which make your business profitable and can connect you with businesses that fit with your agency in terms of design ethic, cost and of course culture.
Get in touch today to see what we can do for your agency.