115 – The client is always right, we just need anger management

In this episode:

Discussion – The client is always right, we just need anger management

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Are you the type of person who always does what your clients ask of you, or do you get angry with them? It’s hardly a binary answer is it, but it certainly feels like it is sometimes!

We’ve all been there… you’ve worked really hard on their WordPress website and you think you’ve done everything right, but then the client comes back to you with a difficult email and it blows your serenity out of the water! Do you simply shut down their website and throw some toys out of your pram, or do you sit down, take a deep breath and compose a polite email back?

In this day and age the adage is that “the customer is always right”, but this cannot be true can it? If they tell you that the website is not working when it is, then they are wrong… period! If they tell you it should be on the top of Google soon after launch, then they are wrong… period! But, if they tell you they don’t like the colour of the buttons on the homepage, then they are not wrong!

We’re all prone to getting upset by things that we don’t agree with, but is there anything to be gained falling out with our clients? Sometimes there might be.

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Maybe they simply don’t understand the relationship that they have with you; they treat you as as if you were an employee and not a freelancer that they hire from time to time. They assume that if they send you an email, or call you on the phone, that you have nothing to do apart from their request. The truth though is that they are likely one of many, many people who are clamouring for your time and they need to know this. They need to understand that they cannot tell you what do, but they can ask you if you will do something. It’s a subtle difference, but you certainly understand it, and perhaps they don’t and need to be educated.

My thoughts are that you can always be polite and if you can, keep your calm.

Perhaps we need to learn when to fight our battles. Sometimes it might be best to placate the client because you know their value is worthy of riding out the storm and at other times you might want to dig your heels in and make sure that you are not giving ground because it’s setting a dangerous precedent.

This is one of those episodes in which your answer will be different to mine, your boundaries will shift and move in ways that mine will not! Either way, we’d love to have your thoughts in the comments if you feel that way inclined.

Thanks for listening!

Mentioned in this episode:

Mike Monteiro on YouTube swearing quite a bit about getting paid!

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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