By Aryanne Oade (auth.)
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Additional info for Managing Challenging Clients: Building Effective Relationships with Difficult Customers
The lead consultant arrives at the online booking manager’s office and finds his client waiting for him. The online booking manager tells his supplier that he wants an update from him on the steps that are being taken to eliminate customer disruption following the go-live. There are a number of ways in which the lead consultant could handle this situation. Let’s explore three of them. ■■ The lead consultant, bemused that they are apparently going over old ground again, takes a deep breath and tells the online booking manager that he is doing, and has done, everything that he can to make sure that disruption to customers will be minimized on the following day.
Rather it is the specific application of your experience and knowledge to the precise issues which are concerning your client which will gain you influence at key moments – and which could, as in the case study above, make the difference between your being able to complete your project on time or not. It is only in the third instance above, when the supplier offers to step into the breach and report to his client’s managers about the outcomes of the project, that he is able to assuage his client’s anxiety.
However, if the facilities management team is unable to find a resolution to the issues that are putting the project behind schedule, or if they do so too slowly to meet the project deadline, it is he who will be in the hot seat with his manager and with the consultants. They will hold him accountable and expect answers from him, answers he might not find it easy to give. 23 24 Managing Challenging Clients As the project falls more and more behind schedule, the office manager starts to feel more and more powerless and vulnerable, a particularly toxic combination for him.