We made mistake. Just two months in business, we made a huge blunder. We accepted a client who we shouldn’t have. Lets call them X for sake of this blogpost ;P.
X is a pain to work with.
- For starters, they are closed to feedback.
- Then what they want sucks. So much so that my team refuses to work on it. It simply does not motivate them to.
- Then, the client does not know what they want. Most clients don’t but these people are adamant on not letting us help them figure out what they want. We want to tell them that we should take the design thinking approach and figure out what our problem is and how to go about solving it. They do not want that.
- Specifications change every time we meet them. Despite documentation.
- Apart from these smaller issues, biggest problem is that this project eats us most of our time. So much so that we aint getting no sleep. We loosing our peace of mind. The work is leading to arguments. And the tough part is that since we have accepted them, there is no way we can say no right now. We will have to complete the project. And put in our best effort.
Why did we accept them in first place? We accepted them because they are one of the better known “brands” in the country. If Cyntax could be associated with them, we would be in reckoning for lot more business. We in fact are working for them on cost. We are not going to make a single paisa on this client. We accepted them hoping for a better future.
So here are the lessons/rules of client engagement at Cyntax from now on.
- Never ever work for cheap. Not even at the lure/prospect of “business development”. In fact Raj always says that when he started CLA he dint want it to be just a sweat shop. He wanted CLA to be a big company that does good work and takes pride in work. I understood the words back then but dint not realize the true meaning. Now I know what he meant. Awesome advice. Thanks Raj.
- Equals. Being a service provider, does not mean that you are pushed against a wall. Its a marriage. The client chooses you over other service providers. And you choose to work with the client. Both are equals. They pay us for work we do. We expect to be paid for what we do. And like in all relationships, there are going to be ups and downs, times where we will have to hand-hold them, times where they would have to confide in us and stand by us, times when things would look as if they are falling apart and times we enjoy each other’s company.
- Accept work that excites us. Motivates us to put in sleepless nights (not force us to).
- Accept work that we would be proud of. That we can show around. It might be simplest of jobs, smallest of work, most insignificant thing ever but we should be proud of it.
Glad that we realized this this soon. In an ideal world, we would want to have the luxury of dumping a client.