Client complaint?

Subject: Client complaint?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 19:43:27 -0400

Bonnie Granat reports: <<A client for whom I am converting books to Microsoft Word (from PageMaker via PDFs) has complained that I am moving too fast and that he cannot keep up. All I did was send him four completed manuals over the weekend.>>

It's a useful talent to be capable of distinguishing among the many different types of complaint. This particular one sounds more like the "I can't keep up with you, and I'm feeling pressured by that, so feel free to slow down a bit" type rather than the more dangerous and unpleasant "I'm not satisfied with your work and am looking for ways to avoid paying you" type. (There are many others, including the "compliment disguised as a complaint", which this might also be.)

Then there's the "Portnoy's complaint" use of "complaint", in the sense that the client is suffering from something (a complaint, albeit not necessarily Portnoy's <g>) and taking it out on you.

Any way for you to confirm which type this one is? Different types demand different responses.

<<He asks for a few days so that he can respond to my e-mails. Actually, only one e-mail had a question about the sixth book that needs a response.>>

Best bet might be to ask him what schedule he'd like you to follow for submitting the other work. Try this one first: "I'd be happy to meet whatever schedule makes life easiest for you. Thus, I won't send you any new files until you send me approval for the previous one and request that I send you the next one." This lets you finish the actual work on your own schedule and move on to other projects while you wait for the client's go-ahead. It also sends a clear message to the client that you care about their needs and are prepared to take the necessary steps to meet them.

This dialogue thing (discussing problems and coming to a consensus on the conclusion)... what a concept! <gdrlh>

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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Client Complaint: From: Bonnie Granat

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