When a good client goes bad
We all have them. Wonderful clients. Clients who articulate what they want, what they expect, and keep us busy even through the lean times. But what do you do when a good client goes bad?
I am not talking about those wonderful clients that seldom send work (hey they send work) or those leave us to our own imagination and expertise to solidify a projects completeness (It feels good to be trusted in what we do.)
I am talking about the client that sends work, communicates, and then out of the blue – all communication ends.
You begin to wonder did you do something wrong? Did you make an unforgivable error? If so, certainly you will make it up to them by way of discount or partial refund. You ask the client for feedback – nothing.
Weeks go by. The work comes in and you do it, figuring the economy is hurting everyone, you will give them time and in the meantime, you are generating an income for yourself – even if it means a late payment. It is still an expected payment.
Eventually, the projects end. Still no communication. Even more important than communication is payment for the projects you worked so hard on never comes.
What do you do?
Here is what I did. I sent an e-mail requesting payment with a read receipt. I also sent this request certified return receipt. I tacked on late fees. I explained that “no payment” will cause me to go a step further and have my attorney make contact and pursue any legal means necessary to get payment. And I followed through. i got my payment, late fees and yes, even partial attorney fees.
He went elsewhere. He went offshore. He saved a few bucks. He got less communication this time when he wanted it. He got less quality and ended up paying more for an in-house person to QA all work returned from the other company, and ended up spending more money and time when all he had to do was pay his bill.
Here is the kicker. Communication with me miraculously began again. Projects began to roll in again. Payment was received. And now, the client pays in advance of receiving his completed project. I don’t hold grudges, but I don’t forget either.
I do not mind being a bit lenient with my wonderful clients. I have a due date. I give additional time before late fees are added and if communication is there, I even waive the fees because we are all living in the same economy. we all have our moments. But when a good client goes bad, they can pull me down too. I learned my lesson and learned it well.
So now I tackle another good client gone bad using the same methods as before. This time not waiting as long before I move forward with the actions. He has gone elsewhere. Am I offended. No way! I know I will get payment and I know he will be back. They always come back.
And I still give my all to every project they send. That’s how I do business at CLK Transcription.com
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