Is the Client Always Right?

Have you ever had one of those weeks, that no matter what you say and do, it feels like everyone is taking their verbal frustrations out on you? And those frustrations were caused not by you, but your fellow industry peers?

Well, I just had that kind of week. And frankly, what I heard from prospective clients really concerned me as to the level of technical service we professionals are providing to our customers. On three occasions, I was presenting a detailed website proposal to three different companies. These proposals were to fix, or rebuild current underperforming websites. Our plans are fairly detailed, in most cases we ask the client to supply content that they feel is relevant to their web page success, (usually textual content that’s in their own words. We then work with them to make sure that this content is optimized for markets they want to be found in.). The importance of original client content is that it provides a level of transparency and honesty, a potential web customer can identify with.

When I got to the part in the proposal about content, all three clients gave me a response similar to the following statement: “You guys are all the same, you continually ask us for content….which we supply. You add it to the site, it doesn’t work and then when we call for help, we’re told the answers are in the manual you gave us! Good luck if we ever get you to return our calls”. WOW, really?

Now granted, I know there are always two sides to every story and I’m only hearing their side; but to hear a similar story, from not one, but THREE different prospects got me thinking. Are we – Web Professionals – losing touch with our customers? Have we stopped listening and more importantly, have we forgotten what great customer service is?

I can honestly say that our group takes nothing for granted. Our clients come to us for specific guidance and we strive to go that extra mile, so that our customers feel we have provided more, than what they’ve asked for. Yes, some individuals take advantage of the situation, but the majority of our clients are looking for a fair solution and they put their trust in us to deliver that result. Remember, they’re PAYING us to make their vision a reality.

My late father used to say; “You can always attract more bees with honey, than you can with vinegar”. For what it’s worth, when dealing with clients… its good advice to live by.