Maintaining Client Relationships When “They are Wrong”

How do you maintain a client vs. freelancer relationship, when the client is wrong about a particular issues?  Your clients are the most valuable assets to your business. Because of your expertise, clients will pay you to design, redesign, maintain, support and offer solutions.  But how do you maintain this relationship when your client’s position is wrong, and this position has put you in a compromising position.

Client

A few weeks ago, I received a text from one of my clients.  The client has been a partner for over seven (7) years.  This client has never been a problem, in fact, I have received several referrals and testimonials from this client.

This is a huge client.  The project called for sermon live uploads, pastor blog, google maps, mobile application, responsive theme, over 35 ministries, fully integrated calendar, and slider with updates on a weekly basis.

One of my future case studies, is going to be based on our early discovery, solved the endless number of paper request.  We fully automatic all their forms, and put in spam protections.

Houston, we have a problem

A few months ago, I was asked to integrate the client’s new member registration form.  It would go to the parish’s secretary.  I created a form based on the paper form.  I tested it and scheduled a meeting with the parish’s secretary. I wanted to make sure that she understood, what she would received.  Finally I created a short video, using loom, on how to use the form? what the notification email, would look like and who would received it, and finally how to log into the back end to pull the entries.

Okay I have create a solution to a pain point.  Automatic parish membership request. Created a paper trail (actually an electronic trail), in which the parish secretary would receive the notification. Developed a video for the pastor and business manager, on how the form worked? how the notification worked? how to pull the data from the website? Pain point has been solved.

Crisis

“This form has never worked!” is the texted that I received. My first though was…which form? Generally I will test forms during the initial stages, and usually a two times a year.  I called the pastor and was advised by the parish secretary, that he was out of the office.  I decided to leave him a message.

“This form has never worked.”, he screamed.  Quietly and calmly, I asked which form.  As we have twenty plus forms on his site.  The parish registration form. Okay I will check it out and get back to you within the hour.  I checked to see if it was a spam issue…no spam!  I check to see if it was being pushed out, maybe a smft  email issue. Nope. Okay, let’s check out the data base.  It had about 10 entries.

Puzzled, maybe it is human error.  I reached out to the secretary to see if she had been receiving her emails.  I really do not have a chance to check emails daily.  Okay, I pulled the data, and sent it to the secretary.  She advised the email was in her inbox.

Solution

I sent the pastor a list of the data.  I offer to send the notification to the business manager and secretary.  I offer to pull the data and send it to the business manager on a monthly basis.  I also advised that I would have my email listed on the form.  Once I receive a notification, then I will email the secretary and business manager.

A few hours later, the pastor called me.  He apologized. Not a huge deal…

Maintaining any relationship is not about who is right or wrong. Most issues center around a problem, and my main focus is to solve the problem.  The pastor (and I am assuming) received something from his flock about registering…and did not hear back from the parish secretary.  Problem solved as the form will be sent to the parish secretary and business manager.  Also, I will send a notification response to the sender, that someone will send them confirming email within 5 business days.

Problem solved…relationship stayed in good terms.

Image courtesy of Patrick Fore.

 

JDS WebDesign is a Web Design and Brand Marketing Agency located in Marietta, Georgia.  We create AWESOME on line presence for Faith Base, Non Profit and Influential People/Organizations.  To learn more about me or how I can help you and your organization, let’s schedule a 15 – 30 minute coffee.  I can be reached by clicking here..