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When is it Time to Let your Customer Go?

Nobody wants to lose customers or business, especially when we’ve strived so hard to build a thriving company but there are times when letting go of a customer or business relationship is the right thing to do.  The golden rule of business is that the customer or client is always right and, while this is a great attitude and can result in great customer experiences, some clients are just not the right ones for your company.  There are all sorts of reasons for this, including unrealistic expectations and personality conflict among them.  Knowing when to cut ties with a client or customer can be difficult but there are some signs to look out for when making this difficult type of decision as a business owner.

·        Communications – if communication with a client causes anxiety (either for you or for your staff members if you have any), then it may be time to cut the client loose.  It’s your responsibility as a business owner to maintain a happy and healthy environment in which to work and a client who continually upsets this balance could have a serious effect on productivity and, eventually, cash flow.  This may be a good time to point the problem customer in another direction.

·        Expectations – managing expectations is a key ingredient when it comes to creating a smooth business relationship.  If a client operates outside the scope of work outlined at the beginning of the contract or business relationship despite clear instructions to the contrary, managing their expectations is likely to become increasingly difficult.  Making changes to the scope of the work is acceptable in many cases, but if the changes are made and the client doesn’t expect to pay for the changes, then it’s probably time to let them go.

·        Continuous Questioning – a client or customer who continuously questions your services or rates is one who’s probably on the lookout for the cheapest solution.   As a business owner, you need customers who value what you offer and are willing to pay what you are worth when it comes to either products or services.  A client who is always on the lookout for the cheapest option probably doesn’t value your business offerings and will probably take their business elsewhere as soon as they find a cheaper provider.  If you believe that quality counts, then you know that you are worth what you charge.  Serious clients are those who are willing to invest in their business in order to grow in the future.

·        Disrespect – there’s no room for disrespect and rudeness in any business dealings.  If a customer is unable to deal with you or any of your team members in a polite and respectful manner, it’s time to rethink whether you should be dealing with them.  You are not obliged to enter into a toxic relationship with a customer or client – respect is a two way street and if you treat somebody with respect, then you deserve to be treated with respect in return.

 

Your customers are vital to your brand and difficult customers will not reflect your brand promise and culture.