How to handle client missed deadline(6 Posts)
Just that really.
I kept the week free and changed domestic arrangements to meet the last flurry of activity on a project, but they missed the deadline.
How do I handle this moving forward? I want to nurture the relationship - I think they're a good, long-term client - but missed deadline has messed up all my other plans.
I know it happens, but it's frustrating!
I am not sure you can do much about it...can you still fit it in when they are ready? I guess you not being able to do it is the only away they are really going to understand the impact. However, things come up which can impact deadlines and the beauty of working with a freelancer (from their POV) is the flexiblity.
Did they acknowledge missing it? You can try and talk to them, but in my experience they don't really care about me/my situ it is all about them.
It could be their way...in which case you can plan accordingly if you keep working with them.
It is v annoying I know....
Oh, I'll defo try and be flexible. I'm hoping they stretch it into next week now, which will actually be better. We changed a lot of arrangements to fit them in last week, but deep down I thought this might happen. I'm just pushed now for time. Hey ho. Ultimately, I do want to work with them so will just have to manage I guess!
There comes a point in some relationships where it's OK to talk about this stuff. Some clients never get there - you know if you try to approach them about it they'll take the huff. But others do get it. For those clients I find it helps:
- to say no to a deadline every once in a while - just to remind them you have other clients to work around. Not in a big drama way, just simply 'oh I have a booking for Tuesday so I can either fit you in Monday or push you back to Wednesday.'
- to charge (or float the idea of charging) for time booked. I've only once followed through on this and I lost the client, but they were a mare so it was OK. But it's fine to follow up on email and say 'as discussed, you have now booked time in on Friday, please let me know by Thursday (or whatever) if you're not going to be ready in time, otherwise I'll have to charge a stand-by rate as I've turned down other work for that day.'
- But my most often-used tactic is to phone them and say 'you are a total nightmare, please phone me next time or I'll charge you double' then act like a superhero and sort everything out. They then usually remember for the next couple of times/fire something else across to make up for the gap. But then I'm on very good terms with most of my regular clients.
Lots of sage advice wilson as per
I tend to do project work, so I think it is a bit different to the ongoing stuff you do.
However, thinking about it I do have a retained client who is very bad with deadlines so I have taken to 'managing upwards'. I go to their offices to work. This means I get the stuff from them I need etc.
So as Wilson suggests you need to find the best way to manage them.
Thanks ladies. It's not a big surprise - just the worst week for it to happen! Moving forward, I think they will provide a big chunk of my work so I want to keep a good relationship. I'll just have to see how it pans out. First time I've worked with them so don't want to make it a big issue. Just hoping I can meet their needs once they get on with it! It's a tricky time of year - will be easier once into the new year.
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