5 Signs You Need to Be Rid of a Customer

Recognising that you have a customer that needs to go is the easy part. But deciding when, and how, to sever ties is the hard part.

Some customer's expectations can't be met or they may need more of your time than anyone else. When this happens, it may be best to say goodbye to them while leaving as little resentment as possible.

So, what are the signs a customer needs to go and how can you end the relationship in each situation?

They cause most of your headaches

Customers who upset employees and demand more than what you think they need will likely end up disrupting your business more than they contribute to it. Just think of it this way: If they're buying things at a small value from you but are using man-hours and a lot of mental energy, they're taking away your ability to deal with your other customers.

How to say goodbye: Go with it's not you, it's me.

Explain to them that you're doing a lot of re-work for them so you're obviously not on the same wavelength and that you think someone else will be a better fit for them.

They abuse employees

Customers who swear, yell or harass employees should be let go, just like you'd let go of any employee who did that to their colleagues.

How to say goodbye: Call out their behaviour in a calm and professional way.

Explain that you have a no profanity rule and that your employees don't swear or yell at clients or each other. You expect that same courtesy from your clients. You should part ways with your client as they are obviously unhappy with the service they are being provided with.

Their behaviour isn't ethical

Some clients won't do business or be in line with the same ethical values that your business is. You may not want your business working with clients whose business practices are illegal, immoral or questionable.

How to say goodbye: If you feel as though your business is being exposed to undue risk, you need to distance yourselves from them as soon as possible.

At this point you don't feel as though your business can cater for the needs of the client and someone else will be able to do a better job for them. You don't want the risk that they're posing to you.

They put you at risk / you're always chasing them

If you're spending the majority of your time chasing them and hearing excuses about why you're not getting paid, you need to let that customer go. Your cash flow is more important than their excuses.

How to say goodbye: Point out how exactly you're being affected by the lack of payment from them. This should show that you can't afford to keep working with them.

Once you've tried a range of payment options with the client and they're still not making the payments, you simply don't have the financial capacity to deal with them any longer. For that reason you should persuade them to find another vendor.

You're not a good fit

Some business relationships end just because both parties are pulling in different directions. They're in different places than they were when they first started working together and that's fine.

How to say goodbye: Keep it amicable, maybe start it with something open ended such as it's good to hear that you're heading in the direction you're going in

Remember that this is no one's fault and you're trying to remain friends through this (that way they may recommend you to some of their clients).

Summing Up

Hopefully this post has given you an insight into how some customers may be bad for business and how you can say goodbye to them in the most polite way possible. Just remember, sometimes it may not be anyone's fault why the relationship has broken down, and that's ok, sometimes it's just not a good fit.

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