Posted by Vicki Moulton on March 4, 2011
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend toward rudeness among business contacts, and it’s time to stand up and say something about it.
Would you expect a client to wait more than 30 minutes for you to show up to a meeting? How about a good friend or maybe a member of your family? It’s considered good manners, and good business, to show up on time to your appointments. If you are unavoidably detained–accident on the highway, family emergency, stuck in another meeting–then at least send an email or a text message comunicating the delay. Don’t just leave your client, vendor, or friend twisting in the wind, wondering what the hell happened to you.
I’m not the most punctual person in my personal life, it’s true. If you are one of my friends and we plan to meet for coffee, I am likely to be running about 5 minutes late (or more, now that I have a new baby). But I do not show up late for business appointments or conference calls. I am prompt and professional enough to expect the same from my clients and associates. Making someone wait more than half an hour to hear that you’re running late is just rude. And if you’re the client, and you do this repeatedly, you should expect to be billed for that time.
Just because you run a small business does not make your time any less important or valuable than your client’s or colleague’s time. Be clear about your expectations for professionalism, and your reputation will reflect that. And if your reputation is solid, that’s great PR for your business.
Posted in communications | Tagged: clear expectations, client, communications, customer service, great PR, late for meeting, professionalism, punctual person, reputation, rude behavior, small business | 2 Comments »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on February 26, 2009
Here’s a dilemma: what does one do with the client who can’t keep track of its own deadlines?
In the past, when I’ve attempted to cover my behind by pointing out that the client hasn’t provided the necessary materials in order for me to meet the original deadline, this information has been met with a revised timeline and occasionally a thank-you-for-pointing-that-out email. My most recent experience with this kind of communication was met with a terse I’m-too-busy-to-worry-about-deadlines response, implying that I was nuts to care about such a trivial thing as a project deadline.
That kind of tap dance really gets my dander up. When you give me a deadline, and I agree to it, until you tell me otherwise, I will stick to the original plan. My professionalism prevents me from letting deadlines slide, even if the client is the one doing the sliding.
Is it too much to ask for the client to just send a quick we’re-moving-the-deadline email, with details to follow? For some clients, apparently it is.
(P.S. The obvious question here is why do I care more about my clients’ deadlines than they do?)
Posted in communications, freelance | Tagged: client, deadlines, professionalism, project, timeline | Leave a Comment »