"You can't control other people's behavior, but you can control your response to it." --Roberta Cava, Author of Dealing with Difficult People
After all, your most difficult clients tend to soak up the lion's share of your client service resources, which can leave you neglecting the needs of the mostly-silent majority that makes up the rest of your client base.
There's an essential distinction between a difficult client and a demanding one. Difficult or borderline hostile clients will frequently make your skin crawl, are loud, obnoxious, and tend to be abusive to your team members (and sometimes even you). It's the right call to eliminate these inevitable drains on your resources, and doing so can often singlehandedly improve morale across your team.
On the other hand, a demanding client might be the best thing to happen to your business. The differences between these two are profound, making them easy to tell apart. The difficult client may throw tantrums when you don't give in to their every demand. The demanding client is a passionate supporter of your business and service; they genuinely care and want to make it as good as possible.
Often, the demanding client is keenly interested in working with you toward the solution. They'll almost always be open to the suggestions or changes you make or offer their suggestions. And why not? Their suggestions were the catalyst for the difference in the first place!
In the end, what it comes down to is this. The difficult client is incredibly "me-centric." Their complaints invariably put them at the center of the Universe, which comes down to how much stuff they can get you to do for them. For less!
The demanding client is a different type of person altogether. While it's true that they want what they want, their focus is primarily on the service you're offering. They love it, are your brand advocates, and genuinely want to help improve it.
You're almost always going to be well-served by saying goodbye to a difficult client. But in doing so, you must distinguish between them and the loyal-but-demanding client. You'll want to treat the latter as pure gold because they are. They will push you and your service to new heights, making it better than ever imagined.
The demanding client is an essential and trusted source of "quality" referrals. Referrals are a powerful sales engine that can enhance the closing rate and improve your business.
Recognizing these types of clients takes a bit of foresight and practice. Still, once you become adept at spotting them, you'll see each as a golden opportunity for your thriving business.
Choose Clients as you would Friends." -- Charlie Munger, American billionaire investor, businessman, and former real estate attorney.