My Client Was Unhappy With Me


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Dear Readers:

I hesitated in writing this blog post, as no one enjoys owning up to their “stuff.” But I am hoping that by sharing my mistakes, you can avoid making the same ones.

I recently had a client who was not happy with my services. I am not sure if this has ever happened to you, but I hope it never does. For me, not pleasing a client will cause sleepless nights.

Speaking candidly, my client is very smart and savvy about the event business and knew what she was and was not getting. As hard as we tried, our efforts still had my client feeling she was not getting the service she deserved. The worst part was that I was letting down a repeat client. I felt awful that she was entrusting me with her child’s wedding and felt that we were failing her.

Here are the three mistakes I feel I made in this event:

Giving My Client Information Before I Was 100% Sure It Was Not Going to Change: The event industry is a work-in-progress with things changing constantly. We know this as designers and vendors, but I neglected to tell my client, “This is the information we have for now, but it is subject to change.” By the time I realized this and clarified, the damage had already been done.

Having Direct Contact Between My Client and Vendors: This was a big mistake. Though most vendors tend to be very accommodating when it comes to the requests of clients, there are some who may be difficult with clients and two of the ones in contact with mine were. My bad.

Being Too Cautious With Suggestions: Of course, I thought I was giving my her everything and handling her needs by doing what she wanted, but because this client was so savvy, she felt she was not getting enough leadership and too few suggestions. Next time, I will err on the side of giving too many.

I was so unhappy about my client’s dissatisfaction that I invited her to spend an afternoon with me and my staff. We went through every single detail of the event, answering every question she had. At the end of the day, my client left the meeting feeling a bit better, but I still felt horrible.

That said, I am happy to report that the wedding was a success. Though she was not 100% happy, she mentioned that she would still be hiring us for her next event.

Question: Have you ever had an unhappy client? How did you rectify the situation?



(Photo Courtesy of Pinterest)