Tech & Work

Advice for dealing with difficult clients

We found that our members have plenty of experience handling tough situations with clients. We've gathered a plethora of advice and tactics to use the next time you're dealing with a nightmare client.

Whether hefty egos, poor communication, or bad business plans are to blame, consultants may sometimes find themselves dealing with the controlling, unreasonable, hotheaded, or infuriating person known as the nightmare client. We’ve featured advice from members who have offered their suggestions for working with difficult clients, breaking off the relationships, and maintaining your good standing in the professional community. These five articles will help you work with not-so-perfect customers:
  • "Dealing with nightmare clients"
    As an introduction to the topic, we asked two consultants "in the trenches" how they avoided nightmare clients. They offered strategies for avoiding troublesome clients and breaking free from a bad situation.
  • "Turning around a nightmare client relationship"
    It’s often preferable to work through a tough client situation rather than leave the client in a lurch. Read one VP's three-step approach to salvaging a bad client relationship. Also, get a glimpse at another consultant’s sample "out clause" to include in your contracts for those times when you must end the relationship.
  • "Can your termination clause hold up in court?"
    We asked several lawyers about the validity of termination clauses and the pitfalls of using them. Here are some factors to consider when adding a termination clause to your contract.
  • "Member offers three-step strategy for coping with a difficult client"
    The previous articles really had our IT consultant members buzzing. Many had some great suggestions for getting out of a difficult client relationship. Read one member’s advice for making a graceful exit while keeping your reputation intact.
  • "More advice for dealing with difficult clients"
    If you could see them coming, you could stay clear of nightmare clients. At least that’s one member’s strategy. Here's her list of difficult client identifiers and warning signs, along with strategies for dealing with difficult customers.

Are your clients on retainer?
We'd like to publish a sample retainer or support contract as a template for our members. If you have a great example, send it to us via e-mail. If we publish your sample, we'll reward you with a TechRepublic mug or up to $50.


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