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Do You Recognize the Early Warning Signs of A Disgruntled Customer?

We’ve all had them, but what are the signs that someone is unhappy with how the project is developing? We never assume what we are doing is what the client wants / expects, we involve them every step of the way. Granted, we may not in some cases get it right first time round, but before we sign off an element of the brief, we will make absolutely sure the piece of work in question is 100% correct and approved before moving on. As we all know, time is money, and the more efficient you are, the more value for money you get. Amendments are part and parcel of the work we do, but a redesign is costly. It’s neither what we want nor is it what we want the customer to go through – especially as if there is no good reason for a redesign, this is charged for again, making a single project unnecessarily costly and ultimately leaving the customer with a bitter taste in their mouths. This is no reflection on us, it is a down to a number of factors, stubbornness, external opinion, being intentionally difficult in order to barter on a price. Very rarely (as narcissistic as it may sound) is it because the standard of work is poor.

But this still doesn’t answer the question in hand. It is actually quite easy to spot who will become a disgruntled customer from the outset. They will be difficult to deal with, objectives and feedback will become blurred, communication will drop off, putting us in the position to produce something just to clarify direction. This can be where ideas get point blank rejected with minimal feedback and then our work and attitude being questioned. We have had one or two customers like this. You bend over backwards to accommodate them but they become sour over trivial things, making them difficult to work with and making us seem inadequate and incapable. There are also the people who want something for nothing, but if you’re in our industry, you can spot them a mile off, but that’s for another blog!