How to Deal with Difficult Customers

Sometimes allowing developers to contact customers can be like lighting a match around gasoline, but Eric Spiegel argues that the best developers also have good people skills. However, even the developers with the best people skills may falter when they run into customers who are particularly challenging. Here is Spiegel’s advice for dealing with three of the most difficult types of customers:

  • Detail-oriented customers — Do your customers send back excessively long feedback? “If you go the extra mile and provide more relevant and insightful detail than usual, you will go a long way to improving their level of satisfaction,” says Spiegel.
  • Easy-going customers — If your customer agrees to everything without really paying attention, “keep them in the loop and confirm (and then reconfirm) decisions to ensure that they truly grasp what you are doing and what the outcomes are going to be.”
  • Difficult customers — If your customer is just plain mean, try “to understand what is at the root of their attitude” and do your best to keep your patience and professionalism.

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