Frustrated With A Client? Sometimes it Helps to Put Yourself In Their Shoes

Sometimes a client can get just as frustrated as the PR team they hired

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Maybe your client is just as frustrated as you are?

Have you ever experienced one of the following?

1. Your client doesn’t respond to an e-mail

2. A voicemail you left your client on Monday isn’t returned until Friday, if ever

3. And, of course, your client didn’t take your counsel on a specific project

There are numerous other examples you could add to this list. But while these issues can be frustrating at times (ok, all the time), sometimes we need to take a step back and think about why the client hasn’t done something we were hoping they’d do.

Could it be that the client is overwhelmed with other in-house priorities and doesn’t have enough internal help because of a hiring freeze?

Perhaps senior management preferred to stay the course on a particular initiative thus handcuffing the client contact?

Maybe there just isn’t any budget left to move forward with the ideas we (the PR team) proposed?

It’s important to remember that a client got to where he/she is because they are smart people, and if they are ignoring you or not moving forward on something, there is always a reason why. Of course they would like to do big campaigns and take your advice, that’s part of the reason they hired you. But sometimes what you want to do may just not be possible at that particular time. Believe me, this probably makes them just as frustrated as you!

So the next time you get annoyed that a client didn’t do what you wanted or didn’t respond to something as quickly to something as you would’ve liked, take a step back and think about why that might be. This is something I’ve tried to do more of over the years, and it’s helped me see the bigger picture, and I hope you have similar experiences.

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7 comments on “Frustrated With A Client? Sometimes it Helps to Put Yourself In Their Shoes

  1. Wow, I am not alone! Thanks for putting this issue into perspective. It’s easy to get frustrated and play the blame game (on both sides) but in the end, we’re all human and working toward the same goals.

  2. I’m so glad you brought this up! I’ve definitely experienced my share of frustrations with clients and it’s so important to consider what might be going on in their world… For example one of my clients would take days to respond to the smallest email. He later told me he has to wear another hat at the company, so some days he turns off his email to focus on other projects. I had no idea! I’m sooo glad I know now and it’s definitely helped ease my frustrations.

  3. Great point! I’ve witnessed many people get frustrated and focus on their frustration… while it’s so much more valuable to move on, and toward something productive!

    Found your post on CustomerThink — see you around there (and now here! 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Most Important Word PR Pros Should Use More Often: “No” « PR at Sunrise

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