Difficult IT Client

Many companies need IT. It’s probably accurate to say that almost all businesses need it since IT includes app or website creation. Very few companies don’t have a website these days, even if they elect not to create an application for their business.

If you work in the thriving IT industry, you probably either have a single company for which you work, or you have multiple clients. Either method can work well if the money is right. The problem is that sometimes, IT professionals have problematic clients.

If you're in this situation, you might not be sure what to do. Let’s talk about some possible options.

What is a Difficult IT Client?

Every IT professional will probably have a slightly different problematic client definition. For most pros, not just in IT, but in other fields as well, a problem client or employer doesn’t communicate their wants and needs very well. If the client or employer does not spell out what they want, it’s easy for the worker to misinterpret some directions.

If that happens, the client or employer won’t be happy, and neither will the worker. The IT professional doubtless wants to do a good job and satisfy their employer. However, if that employer or client does not come up with a better way of telling the worker what they need, that’s a situation that will rapidly become untenable for both parties.

Other Possible IT Client or Employer Problems

A difficult IT client might also expect extra work for no money. For instance, maybe a client hires an IT professional to create a website for them or maintain it. Then, they expect additional services other than what the original contract discussed.

Maybe the employer contacts the IT professional at all hours of the day or night. If the worker is asleep in the middle of the night and gets a frantic call about some IT-related problem, that will not endear the client to them.

What Can You Do About These Issues?

Let’s take the IT professional’s standpoint for the moment. If you put yourself in this person’s shoes, it’s easy to see why they would not want to do extra work beyond the original contract’s scope for no additional monetary compensation.

If that happens, the IT worker can inform the client under no uncertain terms that they’re not willing to do the extra work without being paid. If they lose that client because of it, so be it.

If communication is the issue, the IT professional must inform the client, or their employer, that they have to do a better job of asking for things. They can bring up the topic in a nonconfrontational way, but they still need to discuss it. Otherwise, the same thing is likely to keep happening. Communication is vital, whether the IT worker deals with multiple clients or just a single employer.

As for contacting the employee off-hours, the IT worker can inform their client or boss that there are certain times when they are unavailable. Presumably, the middle of the night would qualify unless it is a dire emergency.

Contract Negotiations

In any job, you must set up boundaries and communicate well. That will stop most problems before they become too pressing. Once someone has been in the IT industry for a while, they will probably learn from experience what works when they communicate with their client and set up contracts with them.

The longer an IT worker is in business, the better they should be able to identify potentially problematic clients before they involve themselves with them. A freelance IT worker might set up their own contract and give it to the potential client instead of the other way around.

This is useful because that way, the worker can explicitly spell out what they will and won’t do for the client. The contract might state when the worker is available, precisely what they will and won’t do for the agreed-upon price, etc.

If the worker signs up to be with a single company, that business entity will likely make out the contract and want the IT professional to sign it. However, if the worker has been in the business long enough, they can probably identify contract clauses that are liable to cause problems.

Avoiding problematic clients is not always possible in any industry. However, the more experienced an IT worker becomes, the better equipped they should be to work out any differences and move forward.