I just mouthed off to a client

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Goonigoogoo, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Goonigoogoo

    Goonigoogoo Active Member

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    I just lost it on a client. He calls me and tells me he wants to undo what we did this past monday. I'm tell him ok, what exactly did we do? So he replies we changed the computer the invoice printer is hooked up to.

    To which i reply, ok i'll need the sharename and computer name. He's liek we just went over this monday ... in a really smart alec condescending voice.

    It's friday afternoon, i'm tired, my brain hurts and i reply, listen Gilles, i install/configure/reconfigure 50 printers in Unix and Windows each week ... do you honestly think i remember what i did monday morning?

    He gets pissed, obviously. I put the phone down for a couple of seconds to cool down. I then continue to reply, you can't honestly believe you want me to remember all 270 clients' printer configurations, which ones have visionfs, who's on a print server, digiboard, serial, parallel connections while troubleshooting ICE.TCP pro errors and placing hardware orders for my suppliers?

    I have enough shit on my plate here and this guy is twisting my nipples, wtf is wrong with people today.

    /end rant.
     
  2. col_panic

    col_panic calm like a bomb Moderator

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  3. Goonigoogoo

    Goonigoogoo Active Member

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    Thanks. I'm starting to think i made a bad judgement in careers. I've known the people i work for for 22 years, i just can't gitti-up and leave if you know what i mean. They gave me a job when i was in need of one, i didn't even have to ask them they just offered :wtc: I should have gotten the hint where the last 4 people who quit were technicians that had the same position as me.
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    some people need to be bitchsmacked... there is nothing wrong with doing it to a client. They are NOT the boss. They came to you because they are usually completely ignorant and would be lost without you.
     
  5. col_panic

    col_panic calm like a bomb Moderator

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    i don't want to do anything outside of technology presently, but i have picked and chosen my clients. i have given clients advice they didn't want to hear and they have disregarded it an been burnt (i would think). good clients listen to the people they hire and respect their knowledge. hey - if they think they can do better, they are welcome to try.
     
  6. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    i just got an email from a client today with an attached 5 page word document about all the problems they're having at the office, and aparently have been for awhile. He's all sorts of pissed, and wants everything fixed by next week. According to my knowledge, they were having ZERO problems until i got this email. It's amazing how people think you're just going to read their mind, and figure out the problems yourself.
     
  7. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    This is my favorite! I'll even talk to a customer a few weeks prior, everything is fine! Then wham! We have a meeting and get hit with a big ass fucking list of problems that they have been having "all along"! Oh, and they have been living with all these problems for 3 months but they need to be fixed tomorrow (as long as it doesn't involve them having to lift a finger, then it's suddenly not important again).
     
  8. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    :run:
     
  9. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    :werd:

    But on the client side, they think to themselves that they expect top priority, first class service because they pay, and when their expectations are not met they act like a bitch. They go by the "You work for me" mentality, and they usually act like bitches because they think they can cancel your services and hire someone else.
     
  10. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    that's fine... I let them. In my area, I'm the best. Call me cocky, but it's true. Everyone who leaves, comes back.

    What really pisses me off is the people that wont bring me a machine because I'd charge them, then call and expect free phone-support walking them through the whole thing.
     
  11. kingtoad

    kingtoad OT Supporter

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    Yup. Those bastards try to get free support every single damn time. I remember having a client that had a shitload of spyware, virii, and backdoors all over his machine. I suggested a clean wipe, and told him why he had what he had, and I told him what to do to stay away from it and to keep himself protected.

    One month later... same problem, he wants the job done for free because it should have been fixed the first time. :rofl:

    I'm so glad I don't work with customers anymore. :)
     
  12. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Sled, this happened a ton of times when I was a network consultant. You think no-news-is-good-news with a client and then they contact you with a ton of crap that's going on and its all your fault. It sucks.

    The consulting shop I worked in did this to avoid this problem: When consultants were idle, they would contact their clients to follow up with them. This really did three things. One, it was a warm and friendly way to remind them we were still in business and we were thinking of them (sounds warm and fuzzy). Two, it allowed the client to vent any issues they had with their systems, ideally before it became a huge problem (this resolved a lot of the problems described above). Three, it almost always drummed up additional work for us. The part that sucks is it takes time to sit down and make the phone calls.

    I've had several clients mouth off to me. I find a smile and carefully placed nods works wonders. If need be, pretend to listen and care - even though you may hate their guts and you are fully aware of their problem. Afterwards, do damage control. You coudl do it on the spot if you have the nerve and right mindset not to trigger another outbreak from the client. Or you could say, "I'll get back to you on this." In which case, document the snot out of what happened in the quote/proposal and send it back to the client. This is assuming you still wish to hold onto this client. Part of damage control is determining if this client is really worth keeping. The consulting firm I worked at turned down work from time to time because the client was a pain in the ass. I've turned down projects people have come to me because the time needed to complete it didn't match up with the dollars they had to offer me. Heck, we had a contractor out at a client site where the boss got drunk pretty often and started swearing out our contractor! We told the client if it happens again, we're going to bill him twice the bill rate and tell the contractor to leave the facility. It happened again and we billed him for it. Then we told him we were done dealing with him. It was stressful, but at the same time, kind of fun.
     
  13. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    That does not work, in my opinion... You come off as a salesman.
     
  14. col_panic

    col_panic calm like a bomb Moderator

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    works for me. follow-up check with specific questions, "is _____ still working correctly?" "good"
     
  15. barnold999

    barnold999 New Member

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    I work at a theatre that does alot of private/corporate events... have over 300 events a year... usually all different clients... a client who hasnt been here will come in and expect me to remember them...
     
  16. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    It just doesn't work, period. We follow up with our clients too. I've called them and asked and sometimes get these. "Oh, yes, everything is fine" them we get hit weeks later with problems that have been there "all along".
     
  17. Valence

    Valence Gustav Refugee

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    The customer is not always right, but the customer is always the customer. I feel your pain but going off on them is NEVER an option. They pay your bills, and you have to remember that. They have the luxury of being a jackass. If they act like it too much you generally have the luxury of politely refusing to do business with them anymore.
     
  18. Valence

    Valence Gustav Refugee

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    That's why you call those you haven't heard from in a while and do followups. You can't go wrong, they might think you are trying to sell them something, but often times just a quick call to ask if everything is working all right is appreciated, even if you actually don't do anything for them.

    Also, DOCUMENTATION, DOCUMENTATION DOCUMENTATION over ALL CUSTOMER CONTACT. That way you have a record and call log's from your phone system that shows when you called who, how long, and type what you talked about. Most phone systems have the ability to record though that can really create a lot of data on a server so forget that part. Clients will say anything, and document everything, even if you don't charge them. Send them a bill for services rendered with a charge of zero (if you don't charge them for support less than 10 mins for example) with all documentation to show them and remind them what they get from you.
     
  19. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Yes, so? Seriously, that's part of a consultant's job, isn't it? I mean, a consultant is to be very knowledgeable about their field, but at the same time, try to bring in new work if possible (or at least, not deny it!).

    This isn't to be a cold call marketing situation. All you're doing is following up with the contact person you've been working with. In some cases, this is the person who OKs the work you're doing and in other cases it may have to be the end users you were working with. The billing manager may not know Jane down the hall can't print. But what if you contact Jane? Jane says she can't print. You can then contact the billing manager and let them know Jane can't print and then suggest you're available to either come out or do over the phone support. Let the billing manager decide to pay to have the problem resolve or try resolving it themselves. These are all friendly calls. You simply say, "Hi [so-and-so]! I'm [so-and-so] and I was out to [fix/repair/install] [such-and-such]. I was calling to see how its been working. Is everything with it ok?" You could leave it at this. But to really catch any issues, toss in : "Is everything else going ok? Are you having any other problems?" Then listen. Is the problem(s) they describe something you can fix? If so, gently let them know you can fix their problems and ask them if this is something they would like you to do. Is this sales? I guess. Isn't that the idea of being a consultant?

    This is called following up. It won't fix every bad situation, but it might prevent bad situations from getting really ugly (and possibly lose a good client). Also keep in mind, if you don't want to follow up with your client, someone else might and take that client off your hands for you.
     
  20. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    No. That is not your job. People that do that probably drive more customers to ME. I don't call people for shit if I don't have to. I make the calls I need to, but I'm not some slime-ball douche bag that trys to telemarket. Glad that works for you. :ugh2: But I have decency.
     
  21. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    I think there is a very fundamental difference between what some of us do as consultants and what you do (from your posts I'm guessing local computer shop). When I do a project, I'm on-site anywhere from a week to a year or more, depending on the size and scope of the project. When I call after the project they don't think I calling to sell them something. They know me, and they know I don't sell products, we have account managers for that. They know I'm calling to actually find out if they are having any issues or have any concerns (even if they sometimes don't actually tell me the truth).
     
  22. Apothis

    Apothis New Member

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    Man, I've always hated customers and customer service, and this thread is really reminding me how much I appreciate my current job. The closest I have to customers are the staff/faculty at the college I work at. Most are cool, some are dicks. They need work done? They need to put in a service request. Maybe I'll skip that part if I like them though. All of their problems are nothing less than dire emergencies needed asap. What the means from my end, though, is "I'll get to it when I get to it". My paychecks come no matter what and I'm not answerable to any of them.

    Of course, similarly to some above posts, communication is often an issue. They can have a problem for a long time before we ever hear about it. Then at the 11th hour they need something major, when they know damn well they need to request shit ahead of time. They expect things to just magically happen without actually informing us of anything. I have about 700 computers to support, and I have better things to do than follow everyone around like a puppy begging to do things for them. If they need something done, they come to me or preferably put in a service request. If they don't want to go through the proper process, then their bitching will get little sympathy.

    I do somewhat, sometimes, follow up on work done. For instance, if I happen to run into someone in the hall, I might ask "hey, how's the new computer working out". That's the extent of it though. I don't just randomly call people up out of the blue to see how thigs are going.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2005
  23. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Its not for everyone or every client. But if you think its telemarketing, then you have it all wrong. And that's ok. This world is big enough that you'll have your clients and I'll have mine.

    Where the difference is is how you call them. If you think its telemarketing, then you're approach is all wrong. Just like Apothis said, "hey, how's your computer working?" when he sees someone in the hall. The only difference is you're doing it over the phone. Maybe everything is fine and you hang up. Still telemarketing? Maybe. Without doing this, how do you know your customer satisfaction? Do you use surveys and what is your return rate and expenses?
     
  24. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    my customers tell me when there's a problem. I don't track my return rate, but I do know that customers rarely buy only once... I turn business away, and tell people that it's gonna be a couple weeks before they get done... They live with it, or they move on.
     
  25. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Doesn't sound like you're in consulting. What do you do?
     

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