You work hard to provide excellent service to your customers, but that does not guarantee they all serve your growing business well. Seriously consider the quality of your clientele rather than just the quantity. Here are a few signs that will help you determine if making the decision to fire your client will benefit your company more than maintaining an ongoing connection.
1. They do not take your professional relationship seriously.
You notice their lack of commitment in the form of unanswered phone calls, little or no response to time-sensitive email messages and the constant need to repeat yourself from one meeting to the next. The endless reiteration may be a sign that they are no longer invested.
The problem with this laid back, inattentive customer is that you waste company time reminding them of things they should already know. You often end up with more disputes as well because they fail to correct potential mistakes or clarify their expectations prior to the completion of work. They will clearly communicate a complaint, but the error could have been avoided had they given you better feedback.
2. Their needs fall beyond the scope of your business.
When a customer is seeking services that exceed your current capabilities, avoid the urge to “make it work.” Putting yourself in this challenging position could mean risking your reputation. Instead, acknowledge your limitations and refer them to a provider that can take good care of their business. Redirecting a client to a better source is a courtesy, not an insult.
3. They become more of a problem than an asset.
The Pareto Principle states that 80 percent of results will come from 20 percent of the crowd. This indicates you can expect approximately 20 percent of your client base to support the majority of your profitability.
If your team is devoting excessive effort to a particularly demanding customer who does not contribute to a significant portion of your bottom line, remember you have the option to dial the relationship down.
Does the Shoe Fit?
Would the decision to eliminate a taxing client leave you feeling less stressed with more energy to devote to other valuable projects? If so, you may decide your company is stronger without them.
You may also find Dealing with a Difficult Client: When to Call it Quits (via The Huffington Post) helpful.