The Ungrateful Client – Be Careful What You Suggest

ungratefulHow do you deal with someone in your life that’s ungrateful? This is a difficult question no matter whether you’re talking about personal or business life and may call on every ounce of patience and understanding on your part. Thankfully, the ungrateful client – or someone who can be described as “serially” ungrateful – is few and far between. Most people tend to be reasonable with their expectations and will be perfectly happy if they can see that you have done the work that you were engaged to perform. There’s a danger in our industry however insofar that it’s difficult to explain to the uninitiated exactly what is reasonable to expect.

The small business owner may perfectly well understand how important it could be for their website to appear in a prominent position in search engine results. Yet they don’t understand the nuances and complexities associated with this process and they may not be willing to accept the fact that results are not always predictable or within reasonable control. This is why it’s important never to overstretch yourself when marketing your own services as a virtual assistant. Be very careful to tamp down expectations and never to give out any type of guarantee that you know is unrealistic.

It can be tempting to build up some kind of hype around your virtual assistant services, to try and distance yourself from your competitors, or to get a larger client base. This is never a good idea and may especially get you into trouble if and when you come across the ungrateful client. Remember that the ungrateful client may have unreasonable expectations and is therefore not likely to be grateful even though you have made significant strides forward and have achieved quite a lot anyway. To them this is not enough and they may be especially mindful of some of those unrealistic claims that you may have inadvertently made sometime in the past.

When dealing with an ungrateful client, post event, you must always be completely professional and unfortunately may have to swallow your pride to a certain extent. You may know just how much effort you put into this project and may probably have gone above and beyond the actual letter of the agreement. Explain and outline this clearly and comprehensively and here it might be appropriate to draw attention to the small print of the contract you have.

You have plenty of value to offer to a new client. You shouldn’t need to employ any kind of gimmickry to attract the client and can point to previous successes, so long as you’re careful to clearly state that the results may not be the same in all cases. Now if you find that you are perennially dealing with an ungrateful client then it’s probably time for you to politely reject when it comes time to renew the contract with them. In any case, life is too short to endure too much negativity and an unreasonable approach from a client, despite your best efforts to defuse and educate.

Have you had to deal with an ungrateful client?  How did you manage that client?