There are some unfortunate truths you have to face in your career even as a Website designer, especially as a freelancer. Most times, it is to get clients and more clients to keep the business going for you and really make you have a sense of handling a career. Also, when you eventually get some, not all of them are willing to make the career easy for you like a bed of rose, some are just naturally problematic no matter how you have satisfied them.
One that aches so much are the non-responsive clients, they make you have a relaxed sense at first when you discover them as clients, only for them to build a hell along the way. If this happens, that you have one or two that refuse to be responsive, probably in terms of keeping to agreement, paying up as expected, providing details you have requested and so on, how well can you handle them and still maintain your integrity or the relationship with them?
Here are three suggested ways to go about handling such clients:
- Withhold Launch: Most of the times as freelancers, we are so energetic and enthusiastic to a level that, once we agree with the client, and probably they’ve made an upfront payment to make us get the preparatory things to set up their websites or we got them ourselves, what we do is get to work. We do so well to an extent of finishing up. But you realize your client somehow stop being responsive along the line yet, you went ahead and finish up. You know what? No hassle, WITHHOLD the launch! You would definitely have seen signs that your client may want to prove difficult, no fuss, just hold on to launching till he or she pays up.
- Maintenance Mode: This is adoptable when you have launched and probably your client needed one or two things fixed or let’s say the client became non-responsive when the website is on already, this approach is to make you workaround to temporarily “disabling” the website until your client becomes responsive, probably by paying up or answering your request. Switching the website to “Maintenance Mode” gives you a bit leverage with stubborn clients. Though, this is actually a milder way to the last approach, the CSS Killswitch.
- CSS KillSwitch: This is more of the highest stage of handling your non-responsive clients. Some freelance Web designers opt for this when they design websites for clients, they install a kind of CSS fail-safe, in order to leverage if agreements are breached. CSS Killswitch is a freelance coder’s dream come alive. By simply linking to an external CSS style sheet, which can be activated with the simple click of a button, you can shut down the client’s website when you have tried and they seem to not care anymore – even when they have changed the password and lock you out of the back end, which probably should be the circumstance under which you should do this.
Note: Contract is important! To then avoid most of these issues ahead before it gets worse, signing a contract is one of the best approaches to adopt. Yes, most times, your clients are not physically available from day one that they were potentials but, nothing stops you from mailing a contract to them before starting up their project. One standard safeguard is a comprehensive project contract. In this contract, you set up your work conditions, payment structure and details about the project. So, when they have signed and you have started work, and they began to be Non-Responsive, you can safely adopt the above ways of handling them so as to come civil and be on the safer side.