Let’s have some fun. I’m betting 10 bucks that whoever in here has face clients or customers that are not only big headed but urm, also arrogant – I’m sorry, I just had to say it, and they always think they’re right, just because they’re a client. But guess what? That is not true. In fact, they are often dead wrong! Oops.
So let me say this out loud: just stop that mindset of the customer is always right. Please. Always think back why you have been hired in the first place – because they don’t have all the answers to their problems and they need your help. That’s why we agencies, vendors, and consultants are here for hire. The truth may hurt, but you need to hear this: there is a big difference between giving an A+ customer service and being a yes-man to your clients’ every request. Again I’m highlighting this: sometimes, that client of yours is wrong and I’ll tell you why.
They think they know what they want, but they don’t. Raise your hand if this may be the number one biggest why. From my experience, this is perhaps the one thing I have to deal with most often, though now I’m thanking God that I don’t really need to handle them as much due to me being attached with the magazine. Now, back to the story. Most times, clients think they know best; they know their business, their audiences, their niche and everything in between. They want a particular tactic and strategy or approach because it just feels right.
I’m sorry to break the news to you, but that’s wrong. Such a viewpoint won’t work in today’s world simply because we are evolving. Adapt and adopt today’s trend to keep up with the market and the competitors. Don’t be scared to tell them this because it is our job to tell them and offer guidance around those requests. If they still blast you down even after your advice, make them think back on why their strategy before you came in didn’t work. Slow talk with them. Reason with them. The most important thing is, handle the disagreements with respect. Always make sure there is a room for give and take.
They throw their common sense out of the window. Hello, police. I’m here to file a missing person’s report. Apparently my client’s common sense has gone missing. Now, I’m pretty sure this happens a lot too. I’ll be lying if I say clients only deal with us from 9am to 5pm. Nope. I mean, if you have clients that adhere to the 9-5 time, you guys are some lucky peeps. Service-based companies especially have likely dealt with this kind of situation and to some of us, it’s a norm if I may be honest. It could be anything from being available 24/7 to asking for a discounted price or even working with way, way unreasonable timelines. Here, I’ll let you in a little secret. Couple of times I had to work late at night and during my weekends because clients want this and that in two-days time. Hey guys, what’s the rush? You’re heading to Australia, mate? So, in this situation, what would you do?
I remember when I was a noob, I’m just a yes-man person but as I age – padahal baru 28 je pun – I learned to reason with the clients about the cons of breathing down our necks. Imagine this, you have to produce everything; from learning and researching about their brands to coming out with a content calendar to writing contents and to post them on their social media, all in freakin’ two days! On top of that, clients keep pressuring you and when you submit your work, they disapprove most of it because it doesn’t sound like them or they simply hate your work. Ouch! What I’m trying to say is, tell them it is highly impossible to deliver in such short notice without jeopardising your work quality. I’m sure they will understand this. I mean I don’t think they’re willing to put their image in harm’s way, yeah?
They think branding is a walk in the park. I’m sorry but if you think you can build your brand in a month, I really need to learn this from you. In my experience, you easily need three months to build your authority and trust, especially trust. Being visible is easy; post every day on social media and you’ll be seen by your followers or connections but being noticeable doesn’t mean you have their trust. So how do you earn their trust? Engage them, comment or even like their posts. Make sure to create engaging contents for your audience as well. However, many clients have failed to see this. They think by posting every day without engaging, will not only generate leads but strengthen their brands. Oh, I wish this could happen and make our lives easier but sadly no.
Today, people crave attention. They want acceptance and nothing makes them feel appreciated if you address them personally. Build a bond with them, earn their confidence and trust me, when you earn this, they will sugarcoat your brand indefinitely. Highlight the importance of trust to your client and most importantly assure them why this is the most important factor in building a long-lasting brand.
So, if you are reading this, know well that there are times when you and your clients don’t agree. Always express your concern and why you feel that your approach is the right approach. Even though it’s painful to say this, in the end it is their business and they have the right to choose their path because they do know their business best, but sometimes they just don’t. Remember, don’t be afraid to tell them that. It is okay to lose some clients rather than your sanity, yeah?