Difficult Clients: 3 Steps to Handle a Client Frequently Missing Appointments

difficult client

Difficult Clients: 3 Steps to Handle a Client Frequently Missing Appointments

June 18, 2022

Your time has value. Time you spend with one client could easily be spent taking care of administrative tasks or working with other clients. So, when you have a client that misses appointments and deadlines, it diminishes the value of your time. Fortunately, addressing the problem is an easier fix than many entrepreneurs realize. Follow these 3 steps.

Step 1: Put Your Policy Concerning Missed Appointments and Deadlines in the Client Contract

The first step is to address it before it becomes a problem. You can do this by including a clause in your contract with a strict policy about missed appointments that addresses the following:

  • Payment/refund information for missed appointments.
  • Cutoff policies for terminating your work with a client. One, two, or three missed appointments are a clear sign that they are not valuing your time or their own.

When these points are part of your initial contract with new clients, you can avoid any ambiguity or misunderstanding.

Step 2: Learn to Recognize a Pattern

Obviously one missed appointment may not be cause for alarm. You may even have some clients (on-call physicians, emergency workers, etc.) who may require some flexibility, though advanced warning should be encouraged in these instances. The problem is when clients begin missing appointments with greater frequency.

When you see a problem developing, it’s time to bite the bullet with a little gentle prodding on your part. Don’t get angry. Don’t make assumptions. Ask. Ask gently. But ask for honesty from your client.

For some entrepreneurs, that’s the hardest thing to do. However, your client may be looking for a way to broach the subject of what’s going on in their world that is preventing them from committing to you and themselves the way they need to.

Step 3: Understand that it is Sometimes Necessary to Terminate the Relationship

difficult client

When you dedicate yourself to helping others achieve their best, it can feel like you’re giving up on your clients if you need to terminate the relationship. Don’t look at it that way. Sometimes it is necessary to end the relationship for your sake and the client’s sake as well.

For instance, not all service providers and clients mesh and they find it difficult to work together. Some clients are toxic with their demanding ways. Some clients don’t want to follow through with the information you need from them, even when you remind them that YOU can’t continue with out it. In these instances, you must be willing to cut the ties when the relationship isn’t working for you or for your client, as difficult as that may be.

It’s important for your clients to show up, on time, for your appointments and make deadlines when you provide them with tasks designed manage their business. If the first two steps do not provide the traction you desire, the third step of termination may be the only viable alternative.

As the owner of a successful business, I’ve developed a process to solve every business challenge you’re facing. From systems to marketing and everything in between, I’ve got you covered.

We will brainstorm about your unique business situations. You receive practical advice to overcome the challenges of starting and maintaining a business.

I currently have a very limited space for new consulting clients. Please contact me for availability.

business managementcustomer relationsdealing with difficult clientsdifficult client

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