The world is crumbling. Your inbox is overrun by thousand-word emails from different clients venting about website issues. Site issues you and your team worked on and launched to the world wide web. Site issues, that by the way, the client bolded certain words in their message would lead you to believe they think these bugs were created on purpose by you.
So what do you do? Your gut reaction is damage control. Defuse the never-ending bombs and salivate what you can. But at what cost? An angry client leads to an angry review and an angry review can lead to a lifetime of loss business. The stakes are high and can spread like the plague.
3 Stages Of Coding No One Ever Talks About
How To Manage A Burning Bridge
Let’s face it, not every project is a good fit. Mistakes happen and your process may be silver proof but shed a little kryptonite on it and it’ll fall to its knees. We’re human, these things happen. But they don’t have to cost you revenue.
We all have that “one horror story” that thickens our skin just enough to get us through the next day. But today isn’t about creating fear, it’s about managing expectations.
Believe it or not, one of the most effective ways to manage a client freaking out on you is by first framing expectations. This can be broken down into three steps.
The first, listen. Listen to their concerns. Hear what they have to say. Don’t argue. Just listen. The second, have a plan of action. Be ready for alternative plans because the trust may be bruised at this stage. The third, execute on your plan. Words are just words – set the expectation that the fire will go out on such and such time.
Is There A Better Way?
Innovate or die. That’s the world we live in. Google mega giants like Hollywood Video, Sears, Toys R’ Us – they were happy keeping the status quo and it cost thousands of people their jobs.
In our nightmare above what would you say was the bigger issue – the client emailing the developer a list of problems OR the client emailing site bugs, to begin with?
In my lifetime, I’ve had clients call, text, Skype, heck even Facebook message me site changes. It’s surreal. Here we are coding our minds out but still rely so heavily on primitive tools not designed for issue tracking and management.
This impacted me so much so my team and I built a tool for developers, freelancers, web firms, anyone that works with websites to help them diagnose, video record, track and manage website bugs – it’s called The Bug Squasher.
Unique Key Features:
- Video Record Website Bugs
- Annotate Website Bugs
- Screenshot Website Bugs
- Upload Images Select
- Assign Bugs To Team Members
- And more but you get the idea.
Now I’m obviously bias. I’m part of the team that built the tool. But you know what I used before this tool…nothing. I was stuck in a slow hot mess. A mess I’m sensing you can relate too.
What If The Client Leaves
Even if you manage expectations and introduce a new tool to manage the workload it may be too late for this client. In some situations, it would be better if you guys never talked again. The damage is too great to recover from. But not always.
Sometimes a lot of life has to do with timing. Imagine some time passed and now you have a new beta product or service your web team is introducing to the world. It would be great to get beta users for feedback. Consider reaching out to your former critiques, failed clients.
When you have new products and ideas, having “yes” people around you can be dangerous. It can make you overlook certain things that need care. Reaching out to the naysayers will challenge you to do more.
A lot of agencies stress the importance of having a solid process. I agree to a point. My golden rule has always been can it pass the D.u.m.b. Test: Is it doable, understandable, measurable and beneficial. If every part of your business is a strong yes to that question you have something special.