We all have them, that one customer or client who we can never seem to keep happy? They are ridiculously demanding, totally unappreciative of anything we do and they are absolutely impossible to keep happy, but for some reason we can't seem to get rid of them.

The big question I want to pose is, could you actually be the client from hell for someone else? Imagine that, whilst you are busy complaining about your client from hell, there are suppliers saying exactly the same thing about you.

So how can you tell if you deserve that dubious title? I've developed 10 questions that will help to pinpoint potential problems. If you answer 'yes' to any of the following questions, you may have a problem. If you answer 'yes' to more than one, you definitely have a problem.

  1. Is every email you send tagged urgent, regardless of whether it is or not?
  2. Do you take forever to get back to your suppliers and then expect them to respond immediately - because they are suppliers?
  3. Do you push your suppliers to meet your crazy time frames (which really are the result of you sitting on a project for too long and now it is urgent)?
  4. Do you try and barter the price with your suppliers all the time, even though you have their rates, which you did agree upon?
  5. Do you try to sneak extra work into a project without paying for it?
  6. Do you draw out payment of your accounts until your suppliers are calling to chase the money?
  7. Do you give terrible briefs with piles of information missing that your poor suppliers somehow have to figure out what to do?
  8. Do you give really negative, non constructive feedback, that could be considered insulting?
  9. Do you engage people for their expertise and then completely ignore the advice that they give you?
  10. Do you hang onto old mistakes that a supplier may have made and make a point of constantly reminding them of what they did wrong.

The point of this article is really to get us all to ponder how we treat our suppliers and to ensure that we do everything we can to avoid being that one customer or client that really leaves a trail of destruction in their wake.

Life is too short to deal with lousy clients.