How do you decide which gift basket clients are not for you? Here are three ways to handle a difficult client.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Ring tone terror

What is your first thought when the phone rings?

  • It’s an order – goodie!
  • Another spammer – ugh!
  • I hope it’s not that client!

With consistent marketing, as outlined in this informative article, you’ll most likely experience the first thought. Marketing keeps bringing new and current clients calling to order or placing orders through your website.

The spammer call is one you, unfortunately, cannot bypass. Marketing reveals your phone number to them, and along with it comes the sharing of your number so more spammers call.

A call (or email or text) from a difficult client occurs, too. If you’ve experienced this type of person, you probably have a method in place to respond to such calls. If you don’t, you will soon, because there are ways to handle this situation.

What’s the difficulty?

The word difficult can take many forms, and it all depends on your categorization. It may mean a person who’s ordered in the past but now:

  • Calls with no real reason for calling
  • Gives overly-fussy design instructions
  • Wants everything done at the last minute

That’s not the extent of difficulty, but you get the point. There’s something about the person that causes you or your staff anguish or stress.

Is this person one you want to continue servicing or someone who’s better serviced by another gift basket designer?

The choice depends on the level of displeasure and the possibility of salvaging or ending the relationship.

Three ways to handle a difficult client

The first time I experienced a problematic client, I chose to end our work together and recommended other retailers for her gifting needs. After that, I imposed solutions in my business to make it easier to determine whether or not I’d continue making gift baskets for future clients who were similar to her. Here’s how I handled it.

  1. Identify the problem. Is this person really difficult, or am I not being clear about my business methods?
  2. Address the situation. Where in my terms and conditions can I share my process so clients can understand how I work with them?
  3. Make the final decision. Will I continue working with the person, or is it time to let them go and recommend someone else?

This three-step process saves me from letting the phone make me nervous with every ring. I can handle spam calls; I just hang up. Client calls are a whole other matter. Difficulties must be addressed quickly and decisively. If you’re in this situation now, it’s time to make decisions. If you haven’t yet experienced a difficult client, it’s time to prepare solutions.

The episode 35 podcast about this topic goes in depth about difficult clients so you happily answer the phone every gift making day.

What steps do you take for dealing with these special clients?