When Is It Time to Fire A Difficult Contracting Customer?

ContractorsPersonnel Management

02/11/2015 | By Scott Siegal

When I was just starting out, I felt a certain pressure to go after every single job out there. I wanted to build a name for myself. I wanted people to see the value in what I had to offer.

I guess we all want that. I guess I still want that.

Certified Contractors Network Difficult CustomersBut, it did not take long to meet “that customer.” The one that reminded me why the customer service industry is so difficult. As a general rule, the work we are trained to do is rarely ever as hard as dealing with people who need our services.

What’s the lesson in all this?

There are times when it becomes necessary to turn down a job, say no to a difficult customer, and focus on growing your business your way. But, how exactly do you know when it’s time?

The Writing on the Wall

Is it time to fire that difficult client? How do you know? There are three questions that you should ask yourself before deciding that it’s time to part ways.

  1. Is the customer paying you for your work? Are you spending more time tracking down payment that you are actually doing the agreed upon job? Is this a valuable use of your skills? A customer who asks for the moon and then dodges your phone calls and evades your attempts to collect is probably not worth your time.
  2. Is your customer disrespectful to you and/or your team members? Does your entire office fight over who must answer the phone when “That Customer” calls? It’s your job to educate your customers all about the unique and incredible things that you and your team can do. Allowing anyone to bully or disrespect your team is the worst form of manipulation.  Show your team that you are the boss and you choose who to work with.
  3. Are you fulfilling your contract and still unable to meet your customers’ outrageous expectations? As the saying goes, “always under promise, and over deliver.” If you have held your end of the bargain, but this person still expects more and clearly doesn’t understand the parameters of your contract, it’s time to break up with them.

I’m not saying that every single customer who gives you a hard time is worth firing. I mean, we all have to pay our bills somehow. But, certain business relationships are just not healthy or profitable in the long run.

Go over these three questions carefully and consider what you’ll really be losing by parting ways with a difficult client. The thought of letting go of a job, and the money, might make you cringe. But, don’t tell me you haven’t thought (dreamed) of firing a customer!

Invest in the Right Things

Instead of spinning your wheels and wasting time, energy, and resources on difficult clients, invest in the right things! For more information on ways that we are helping contractors across the nation, click here to learn more about our Business Operations Boot Camp. You won’t be sorry!

Building the Best,

Scott

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