No genuine care and personal attention
There is no greater way to show a client you don’t care than by not giving your time and attention. Listen to the needs and goals of your clients and genuinely make those goals genuinely your own. Failing to do so is why many people ultimately find themselves fired.
You didn’t create a personal connection
Time and attention isn’t enough. Create a personal connection with each client. Ensure that they are a good fit for you and you for them. Make sure you both parties mesh or you’re probably just delaying the inevitable.
They don’t understand what you’re doing and why
Does your client understand what you’re doing for them? Did you explain it in non-geek friendly terms? Do they understand why you’re doing it and how it affects their goals? Did you connect the dots for them? If all they see is the bill and don’t understand what and why you’re going to have issues.
You become an order taker
Your client calls you up and wants the greatest new feature they saw surfing the web and you do the work without questioning. The most valuable asset to your client is your advice as an expert. You must ask what is driving the request, how this will help achieve your goals, how it will make you successful and what are the expected results. When you become an order taker you lose your value to your client.
Expectations weren’t communicated properly
Were you both committed to the same things? We’re you explicitly clear about what you need from them, who is accountable for what, deadlines, expected results, communication and cost? If you’re not on the same page with your client you’re both expecting something completely different. Naturally, that’ll cause issues.
This is a no brainer. Dishonesty loses credibility and trust. Always be honest, especially when you screw up. If you have followed the steps above, and even if you make mistakes, your client will understand.
The reasons above are the little things that often get overlooked. The obvious big things like missing deadlines and poor quality work can of course make relationships go bad. However, if you pay attention to the little things and make the big things right you can often salvage those relationships.