Dealing with a difficult client, what would you do?

This week, put yourself in the role of the web designer. As the designer, you have gone through the whole creation process and completed a usability test. The test showed some major issues. However, your client doesn’t want to pay any more money to fix the problems and just wants to “roll” with the site as it is.

I’d look my client directly in their eyes. Speak with a calm, but directive, professional tone and communicate absolute certainty.

1. Affirm My Obligation 

I’d begin the dialogue by affirming that their success is my obligation (or something along those lines). By doing this, I’m reminding them “Hey, we’re on the same team here! You hired an expert for a reason!” Conveying that I have their best interest in mind is imperative in gaining their trust.

2. Driving Results  

Emphasize how these issues impact whether they attain their goals or not. Speaking in rational terms is necessary for productive dialogue, especially in business. I’d explain the circumstances and use KPI’s to support what I believe is true.

“If we don’t fix this…” – Begin with the repercussions of not fixing the major issues and how they will affect website goals/objectives.

“If we do fix this…” – Close the dialogue with optimism. Paint the picture for a strong online presence and positive effects of addressing these issues now. I’d probably bring up how this will give them the edge over their competition. I’m highly competitive myself and the thought of putting extra effort to outwork the competition excites me. I hope to incite that in my client!

Example Below

“(Clients Name), Part of my success in what I do – is making sure that you have an online presence that brings you results. Professional tone* Commence stare* Brad Pitt Body Language*

People are using mobile internet more than ever before. This (whatever the issue) has an impact on everyone who visits your website through their phones – this is most of your audience.

If we don’t fix this, your users will have a hard time navigating this page. They won’t find the information they’re looking for which means they’re not going to trust you with their email. It’s going to make it real difficult getting those 50 subscribers like we planned for.

But if we do fix it, they won’t have this problem. They’ll find what they’re looking for, they’ll trust your website and they’ll want to subscribe for more information. When people have a good user experience, they tell others about it.

You know, (Competitors Company) website is mobile friendly but they don’t have a beautiful design like ours. I don’t even think they have 50 subscribers, maybe 20? (joke, lighthearted, competitive dialogue). Haha.

You said you wanted to take your business to the next level right? Then let’s do what’s right for you and your business, (Client). 2016 is the year of taking action!”

I have an expressive and adventurous style of communication. As long as I am speaking in logical terms, with information to back it up, I can make a positive influence. My client will make the right decision and allow me to make the changes necessary. My client will attain their goals. My client will surpass their goals and Super GaspiMan saves another difficult client, one client at a time.


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