CommunicationCustomer service

4 signs you’re a headache client

By September 3, 2021September 14th, 2021No Comments
PHOTO CREDIT: Stock Unlimited

When was the last time you were a client? Chances are it was very recently. Whenever you shop online or in person, you’re a client. When you call a business for info or your healthcare practitioner for an appointment, you’re a client. When you ask a colleague for something, you guessed it, you’re a client there too.

Have you ever wondered what type of client you are?

How you communicate with those who you want to serve you affects the type of service you receive. Are you the type of client that draws the best out of service people or do you drive those serving you around the bend?

Here are some surefire, telltale signs that you just might be a dreaded “headache client”:


When someone is serving you and requires information, if you are slow to provide it and don’t respond at all, you become part of the problem. They can’t help you without you helping yourself. Even if you don’t know the answer, have the courtesy to let them know that. Respond in some way. Beyond good business, it’s good manners.


On the other extreme of no-response is the person who contacts constantly. Browbeating the service or product provider for excessive information, grilling them relentlessly and multiple times on the same issue that they’ve already responded to, requesting draft and draft after draft of a document rewrite, requiring inordinate amounts of their time before a contract agreement is even signed, and constantly challenging the provider’s expertise may serve to get you at the bottom of the service list, not the top. You’re too high maintenance. Your supplier may decide you’re not worth the hassle. Be organized and don’t expect the provider to spoon-feed or babysit you.


Every company, organization or individual has a certain way of doing things. So does your provider. It may not be the best way but it’s their way. They may or may not appreciate suggestions for what you see as improvements. However, until those changes are done (if ever) you are bound by the current system. So what to do? Find a middle ground, create options. For example, instead of making the provider wait 30 days or more for payment (your norm) versus their usual payment upon delivery, how about walking the invoice to your finance people and making sure that payment is issued before the 30-day max instead of at the end? This is especially true if your supplier is a small business as most live and die by critical cash flow.


Discussing price is one thing. Arguing to get a price that is far below market value is another. Be fair with your supplier. Consider not just the price but the value of what you are receiving. Will that product or service provide critical information for you to move forward? Will it simplify your life, save you time, streamline a process or empower you in some way? Pricing works both ways — you want value and your supplier wants to be paid fairy for the expertise and time spent. Be fair to both of you.

If you recognize yourself in any of these points, take heart — it means you’re human!

We all are less than ideal clients sometimes. The good news is that now you’re aware of some telltale signs and perhaps you understand more the other perspective and are willing to consider changing your behaviour. Doing so may reward a great supplier and build a relationship that will last for years.

Being a good, communicative, low-maintenance client is in your best interest as it assuredly increases your chances of receiving good service. And isn’t that what you want and deserve? Probably as much as the supplier wants and deserves a great client.

©2021 Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Until next time, here’s to …
Better communication, Better business, Better life,
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
Sign up for  “Marion’s Communication Tips” at

Post your comments and reactions below. There are no right or wrong responses, just honest, respectful ones. I’d love to hear your opinion. What about this article resonated with YOU?

Marion Grobb Finkelstein

Marion Grobb Finkelstein helps leaders use their natural communication strengths to build resilient teams that talk.

Leave a Reply