On Difficult Clients

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Audio & Video, Blog0 comments

Almost everyone I’ve met here as the office manager of Advanced Media has been very friendly and kind but once in a while a difficult client can present a real challenge.

Recently, I had an experience with a client who demanded a lot of my time and energy. The job was simple enough. It was digitizing analog tape to file. The client requested a fast turnaround and on top of that a discount. I was happy to oblige and the job was ready very quickly and it was picked up promptly. I thought that was the end of it.

I got a call the following week regarding the job. The client asked me to look at the files because there were a number of things wrong with them. There was one very valid point on 2 of the videos. I looked over the rest and did not see a problem but I agreed to redo the job out of a strong wish to never see any customer unhappy.

The job was ready a few hours later and the client came in to review the tapes and was happy with the perceived improvement of the quality. However, there was another problem with the color. I tried in vain to explain that different monitors have a different calibration and that I would be happy to do some color and brightness corrections but that there would be a small fee because it was extra work. The client was not satisfied with this so I promised to give a full refund. It got pretty tense in there and I thought about it a lot that night and the following morning. I was really not happy with the way everything happened. It seemed to be out of my control and unfair. Hadn’t I used these systems on hundreds of tapes and nobody had complained on any previous jobs. I wondered if the systems had been altered in some way or if I had missed something.

I came to the conclusion that I would make a final offer that I would do the color and brightness correction free of charge. After all, it would probably only take about an hour to get them looking polished. When I received an email regarding the job, I was actually deeply touched. The client requested that I send the refund but the way she said it made me feel really good. My initial reaction the day prior was to want to be done with the job and to move on but the only way I could get closure was to make this final offer, to know that I had done everything possible. But when I received this email, I knew that I had been guided by some mysterious force within, to do the right thing and I’m glad for that.