You may occasionally receive a client who requests that you perform something with which you are uncomfortable. We all want to impress our clients, but how do you satisfy a client who, for example, asks you to imitate the logo design or sales copy of another company? Who wants you to harm a competitor’s internet reputation, Google ranking, or anything else?
It makes no difference what unethical conduct is or why you don’t want to do it; coping with it and doing it professionally and courteously is always a challenge, being a leading website designing company in New York, or any other place for that matter.
Fortunately, many freelancers may use a tested strategy to keep these types of clients under control and avoid ethical issues in the first place. A few of them are discussed below
To begin, keep in mind that in cases like this, having more options and avoiding these types of projects altogether is the best option. Shady clients are often more trouble than they’re worth, and if the unethical behaviour can be linked back to you in any way, you’ll find yourself in more difficulty than you ever imagined. If you have other possible clients, you can simply fire these rotten apples and send them on their way in a polite manner before things start to go bad.
Trust your intuition
You may often utilize your natural intuition to predict whether a client will offer ethical dilemmas before you start working with them. It could be something as basic as a “vibe” – a strange feeling you get when you chat with them, or in a shady manner they answer your queries.
Other times, it’s the sort of work a client requests that raises red flags. While reputation management, radical brand new designs, or dispute de-escalation with third parties such as unhappy customers or threatening competitors aren’t always unethical, they can be indicators that your client wants to address these issues in a manner that is not ethical.
When determining which initiatives to take on, trust your instincts and use your judgement. It may seem stupid to turn down a customer based on a gut feeling, but it could save you years of heartache and legal issues.
A request for anything unethical can appear out of nowhere at times. Everything is going well until your client makes a terrible request that you don’t know how to manage.
Your client is more likely to be misinformed about the project’s direction in these situations. They examine what their competitors are doing successfully and conclude that it is not worth interfering with what looks to be a successful strategy. To put it another way, they have a good general idea, but they require assistance in putting it into action in a unique manner.
It’s critical to remind these clients and yourself that you were engaged to handle their business challenges using your professional knowledge. Don’t be hesitant to question your client’s assumptions about what will work best and why. Show them previous outcomes to demonstrate that there are a variety of approaches to the problem that don’t violate anybody else’s proprietary information. Don’t just send them a new set of comparisons or modifications; take the time to explain why something works, why it doesn’t, and how you can assist them to avoid a lawsuit.
Successful companies, such as Mapit Marketing Group adopt this practices of digitizing its record. This greatly prevents conflicts from arising.
So, if you’ve tried everything to persuade a customer to do the right thing and they still won’t listen, it’s critical to be able to remove oneself from liability if something goes tragically wrong. This is where keeping track of all communications is beneficial.
Even if you communicate with your customer mostly in person and over the phone, keep recorded versions of your suggestions, requests, and warnings and ask the client to sign off or confirm them by email. Keep track of all the advice you give and send a copy to your client, even if they ignore you. That way, if their plan fails terribly, you’ll be able to show them your notes and prove that you warned them. It’s nice to impose a little vengeance on an obstinate client, and it makes it impossible for the client to blame you for their bad behaviour.
Hopefully, this will persuade them that doing things the right way is always preferable to infringing on someone else’s rights, but even if it doesn’t, you’ll be able to walk away with a clear conscience and tell other freelancers you know to stay away from that customer at all costs.
A final word
These are all the strategies you can apply if you want to learn how to tackle ethical disagreement with your design client so that you may save yourself from future complications.