The day has come.

You’re there.

The Long term Customer – Man has it been tough, the work that you’ve put in over the last few years, and finally, the big jobs are trickling through. You’ve been proving yourself for what seem like forever, working every job that comes your way, hundred hour weeks have been your base, and every networking event, trade show and social media platform is littered with your unique take on what is current and cutting edge.

The big day is here and your big new client walks through the door.

Ohhhhh, it’s so nice to work with people who understand and respect what it is that you do, and you get on so well. The trill of the seemingly higher level conversation, and detailed requirements that your input alone can solidify, they love you. And you know what, you are going to love them too, you are a perfect match.

It’s going to be wonderful

You don’t know how you could have been so lucky. I mean, you’ve put in the work. All of that sacrifice and investment. All of that time spent, not just by you, but by those around, allowing for your passion to blossom, and your dreams to become the reality that you see right in front of you.

Damn it, You’ve earned this, this is the start of big things for you….. You deserve everything coming your way, and more besides. You aren’t lucky, you’re driven and exceptionally talented, they are the lucky ones, and you’re going to give them the best of the best….

You've Earned It Hindsight Blog

Two Months Later….

The horrors of the long term customer – How could one person take up so much of your time. You can’t do anything else. You aren’t sleeping. You daren’t even look at your phone just incase you’ve missed their call or received another text, and they haven’t paid any of your invoices because they say there isn’t enough of a breakdown and want to see itemisation and original receipts for everything including stationary.

The Horror….. The Horror….. Ohhhhh The Horror!

Your every move is being tracked. What was supposed to be your role has now been hijacked. Every decision, every conversation, every agreement is now a distant memory, replaced by another state events, ones that you have to nod at and accept as fact, and then pick up the pieces and run with, only to be questioned about why you took so long on implementation.

What seems like a lifetime has passed.

Although invoices are being paid, they are always late and constantly questioned. The reason that you were hired, or what you thought was the reason, the fact that you have/had great vision, is now a thing of fancy and meaningless. You are now simply a vessel for organising the customers thoughts and someone to blamed when whatever they wanted doesn’t seem quite right.

So why don’t you speak up?

You can’t speak up against the constant barrage, the questions, the temper tantrums, the arguments with others that are, if you didn’t know any better, almost staged, and ones that you have to address and reassure won’t happen again.

The calls after 10pm are something that you’ve become accustomed to, along with the text messages that often are just rows of question marks, as in why you didn’t pick up.

The emails that have become an obvious paper trail to prove any wrong doing on your behalf, with a legal style of writing along with the vague but very clear threats, are interlaced with the odd “pleasant” email that has requests that signify an almost complete redevelopment of a large percentage of the project, are a twice daily event, and something that should be made actionable immediately.

Any delay, any issue, any mistake, is always on your hands, and something that you should, and will forever answer for.

Its been 12 months.

You’ve hardly slept, your skin constantly feels the tinge of stress, you can only imagine a day when you aren’t answerable to this customer and when they have have paid up and moved on. This nightmare affects everything that you do, every interaction and action, and is always with you, even when you aren’t physically there.

The Horrors Of The Long Term Customer

You can’t speak up because, heaven forbid you lose the customer.

You can’t speak up because you might get a bad reputation.

You can’t speak up because we are all told that this is just a part of working with a customer, and the customer is always right!

The customer is not always right…. Often the customer has no idea!

The Long Term Customer – The Long Term Customer – The Long Term Customer – The Long Term Customer – The Long Term Customer – The Long Term Customer – The Long Term Customer.

The customer is not always right…. Often the customer relinquishes all responsibility, because of the box that we, the business society, have created, and now allow them to fall into.

The box that I speak of, is one of an easy ignorance. One where you must educate them on every step. An ignorance so deep that they can relinquish all responsibility for their own actions or lack thereof.

A box that says that the customer has no accountability, can treat you, your business and those within that business, in any way they see fit.

Not all customers are monsters, many customers will go out of their way to be in partnership, and help facilitate your role…. This is the way it should be, and these customers will see the fruits of that effort through the warm embrace of preferential treatment and better choice of companies willing to work with them.


It is a growing percentage of the customer base which will behave irresponsibly and unprofessionally towards the roll that they play.

a growing percentage of the customer base

You deserve better, your business deserves better, and those around you, from your colleagues, other customers, your friends and your family, all deserve better.

Don’t Just Demand Great Customers, Command Great Customers!

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What are your thoughts on the customer and what we as the service or product supplier is expected to absorb and simply deal with? I would love to hear from you… Find me on LinkedIn and connect!