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advice needed on client not understanding....

Thread began 10/18/2016 2:09 pm by Christopher West | Last modified 10/20/2016 6:36 pm by Ray Borduin | 1460 views | 4 replies |

Christopher WestCommunity Expert

advice needed on client not understanding....

I Have a client 99.99% of their website completed, just testing. they are giving me stress on them having to do products. their manufacturer gave me an excel spreadsheet with all the product details which I uploaded to database. I assigned all products as NOT LIVE. as the client would need to assign the product to multiple categories. (I have tried explaining that there is no way the website could know what category a product belongs to so they need to do this manually. The manufacturer excel file does include its own category names, but these are completely different to how the client wants their categories setup (so I couldn't use it).

But the client just doesn't understand, one of their "helpers" is telling me her website does everything automatically. But I just don't believe that as how can the website know. And so because the products don't have categories they obviously don't show on website until client assigns them and makes them go live (they want ALL products to be live automatically) but I tried explaining that they still wont show until they assign each individual one to a category (plus the manufacturer didn't even provide product descriptions as well even upon request by me, instead they use long product names. So the client would need to update those as well. The amount of stress the client is giving me is immense as they are suggesting the website doesnt work to how they want it (they seem to think that by a press of a button everything works. Its very frustrating. I just need advice.

Also since the client wanted products to be assigned to multiple categories and that the category names could change at any time, I am using the database record ID to store the category/product.

How is the best way to explain to the client what they are asking is impossible?


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Ray BorduinWebAssist

If that is what they want, then I'd try to do it for them. At some point you need to let them come to the conclusion that it can't be done if that is the case and try to work with them on how to do it.

Can you create a lookup table that would determine the correct category in your database based on the category passed in the spreadsheet?

I'd ask them how they would figure out the correct category based on the information provided in the excel spreadsheet. Then you can probably mimic that logic and have it done automatically, and then bill them for the extra time it takes to do.

If it is actually impossible then you should be able to get them to see that by trying to find a solution with them and determining together that you really don't have enough information to make it happen.

I generally tell people nothing is impossible provided that we have enough information to figure out the answer and they have the budget to pay for the amount of work that needs to be done. I tell people "Don't ask if it is possible. Ask how much it would cost, because anything is possible". Then figure out a way that it would be possible and tell them how much it would cost.

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Did this help? Tips are appreciated...


We have a saying here in our warehouse, it would be a great business except for the customers.
Only if we can do away with them!

On a single item being in multiple categories with a category that can change at anytime is not a problem, we have a few sites just like that.

One of our products might be in the wood category and the educational category and the math category.

Don't let it get you down :-)

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Christopher WestCommunity Expert

I'm already down I'm afraid :( this client is one of those clients from hell. I even spoke to the supplier that she uses as she told me to contact him since they are the ones that send the product list via excel. Even after explaining to him her requirements he even said usually they don't do it that way. That their other clients would usually have to go in and manually assign a product to what ever category. Because on supplier product list their categories could change at any time. Plus each day the supplier needs to take the product info from website via csv then update it and then give back to client to refresh products on website. So even if I did some kind of category 'mapping' it will still cUse issues.

This client is a nightmare because she doesn't like me sending long emails explaining what I need to do, or questions I need to raise so that we can think about options or ways of doing things (for example with delivery using two different delivery companies and they calculate delivery costs 2 different ways with different post code zone tables) I need to ask her and she just gets rude and tells me to just finish it or she will take me to court! The website build had been going on since 2014 as I've got a new job now and even though I told her back then I neee to get website finished due to new job she still kept delaying me so I could t finish it back then, so now I had to do it in my spare time. And only now (when it's almost finished and I ask her to test it, it feels like the first time she's seen it and telling me certain features need to be done this way or that as other websites do it that way, I try and tell her that we never agreed to it in original price of website but she turns round and says that other websites do it so it's common sense. I can tell you a lot more how bad this client has been but don't want to bore you :( I kinda wish I never met her as she keeps blaming me when I was only going on original project plan she originally agreed on. So stressed :(

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My advice is to read every day and console yourself in the knowledge that you're not the only one suffering! :-)

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