In this industry, not all client relationships will work out. That’s just how it is. That doesn’t make it any answer to terminate your services with a client.
I once had a client that I cared deeply for, but I could not seem to actually help. This was not for lack of trying, either. I would agonize over the little details. “What could I do or say differently that would get the message across?”
The worst thing about not being able to help the client was facing them week after week. I knew we were going to go around and around and accomplish very little during any call or visit. The longer this relationship lasted, the more I could see what needed to be done. I needed to fire this client. The choice to fire a client is never an easy one to make, but here are 4 potential reasons you may have to fire a client.
There are 2 sides to this coin that typically make up this issue:
There will be times when you both have a desire to solve a problem, and yet you can’t seem to connect to actually solve the problem. My best piece of advice to you is to move on. It is far better to end on positive terms than it is to harm your reputation, damage what could be a good reputation or miss a chance to get positive referrals in the future. If you can refer the client to someone that you think can help them more effectively, then do so.
Back in my contracting days, I once saw a CSR cry at the end of a phone call. This was a tough lady, so to see her crying was big deal!
“What happened?” I asked.
“Oh, it was nothing. The client was just a little upset,” she responded.
This particular CSR was being nice and attempting to serve the client despite the client’s persistent rude behavior. It is important to give grace to clients who may just be having a bad day, but a pattern of abusive behavior towards your staff is absolutely unacceptable. It is best to terminate relationships with abusive clients as soon as possible.
In other words, the client will not accept your service fees or attempt to negotiate multiple times.
Have you had the experience of a client that says, “Yes” to your recommendation, and then calls in later to complain about the price? That’s what I’m talking about! If this happens once with a client, then it may be an indication of the client not receiving your best service or a simple miscommunication about price or services rendered. First, attempt to solve the miscommunication and maintain a good relationship with your client.
However, if the client makes a habit of challenging the service fees or prices, hoping for a discount after the sale, then it may be time to fire the client.
It’s not my business what a client does after hours or in their spare time. It is my business what a client does while I’m in their home.
If you are put into a situation where a client is doing something that either endangers you or perhaps makes you uncomfortable — like using illegal substances, engaging in behaviors you find risky or inappropriate or having conversations with you that make you feel comfortable — you are absolutely at liberty to fire that client. No job you take on should make you feel like you have to put your moral compass to one side. You should also adhere to any rules and policies outlined in your company’s handbook regarding this behavior.
Business can be difficult. There are a lot of decisions that won’t come easy to you — whether you’re a technician, CSR or owner. That’s okay! Service Excellence has been in the business of efficient communications and home services training for years. We can help you handle issues like firing your client or other business growth questions you have. Stop struggling to decide on the right path and get expert answers today! Give us a shout, and we’ll be in touch soon.
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