The Difficult Client: What to Do in 3 Uncomfortable Situations
Posted by Katie Zacharkiw

In an ideal world, all of your clients would be wonderful. They’d have 100% attendance rates, always pay their bills on time, and be a constructive part of your community.

But we all know that isn’t the case. It seems like every business is doomed to have at least one of those clients. Here’s how your software can help you handle three difficult client situations.

Your client consistently no-shows
  • Scenario: You have a client who enrolls in classes relatively frequently, but only shows up about half of the time. They rarely cancel their online enrollment or call to let you know beforehand.

  • The Problem: Having a client no-show is more than just a small inconvenience. It’s a problem for the instructor who was expecting that client, a problem for other clients who would have liked that spot in the class, and a problem for your finances. Depending on your refund policy, you could be losing a lot of money on this client.

  • The Solution: The solution here depends on the reason for the problem. Does the client just keep forgetting? Automated reminders may be the fix. Tighten up your refund policy or impose larger cancellation fees in order to incentivize clients to show up. It’s in your best interest to encourage your clients to consistently attend classes; clients who don’t are far more likely to churn.
Your client frequently makes late payments
  • Scenario: Your client loves your business. They love trying new classes and are generally positive and friendly. But nearly every month you find yourself tracking them down to collect yet another late payment.

  • The Problem: It isn’t just important that a business gets paid for services rendered, it’s important that payment is on time. Accurate sales and revenue data is important for business reporting. Unpaid clients throw the books off balance, which leads to a host of other problems.

  • The Solution: Automation may be the best fix here. Automated recurring payments can cure a lot of financial headaches. The next best option is to remind your client of their unpaid bills when they can’t ignore it–like when they’re signing in for their next class. Account alerts are a fast way to let clients and staff know when there’s an outstanding bill.  
Your client is toxic to your community
  • Scenario: Your client regularly takes classes with you. Their attendance rate is near-perfect and they always pay their bills on time. But you absolutely can’t stand them and their negative attitude. They complain frequently, and neither your staff nor your other clients enjoy being around them. 

  • The Problem: The toxic client taints the experience of everyone around them. This isn’t just annoying–it’s bad for business. When your other clients notice the negative atmosphere it starts to affect retention rates.
  • The Solution: Unfortunately, unless the client does something really egregious you’re probably just going to have to put up with them. But you can use software to track any complaints or incidents. If there are enough of them, you have reasonable grounds to ‘fire’ your client. But even if you don’t, you can keep shared notes (for staff eyes only) in your system about how to best deal with the client. If nothing else, this will remind your staff that you’re all in it together.

I sincerely hope you’ll never find yourself in any of these situations. That’s one reason finding the right software is so important. A good software solution automates administrative tasks like reminders and payments, taking care of issues before they ever become real problems.

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