Healthy business activity is essential to longevity in the pet care industry. However, the delicate topic of difficult clients can cause strain and strife as no one really talks about who they are and what to do about them. Whether you’ve been with them for years or they’re new to your business, breaking up with a client is a liberating and worthy cause. Though, it’s not for the faint of heart. At some point, every business owner will have to do this and we’ve just made it easier.
Who Are Difficult Clients?
These are people who cause you emotional, mental, financial, and even physical strife. They cost you money and precious time which you cannot get back. They may be the type to be vengeful, loud, and harmful to not only your business but your staff and other clients.
What to Remember
Breaking up with a client is not easy. It can bring up feelings of rejection for the client and cause anger and sadness. With this in mind, you want to make sure that you handle the breakup with the utmost care and kindness.
Now, to the tips…
Pick Up The Phone
While it might be easiest to break up over text or email, take the time and care to pick up the phone and call them. Let them know that you’ve deeply enjoyed working with them and mention one or more things that positively connect you two. For example, mention good times you and their pet had together or an inside joke you may have developed over the years.
But exercise compassion. Saying “I think” “Perhaps” or “Maybe” implies that you are open to negotiation, which, at this point, you are not. Remember? A good phrase to employ while having this conversation is “I don’t believe we’re a good fit for each other anymore.” This implies that you’ve thought about it and that it doesn’t place personal blame on either party. You two are simply no longer a good fit and that’s okay.
Keep it Light
As frustrated, angry, or tired you might be, keeping things light and airy will ensure you leave this interaction with your reputation intact. Getting snarky or sassy with them will only escalate an already tense and emotionally volatile situation. Let them know that, of course, you will miss them (even if it’s a lie) but remind them that it’s just not a match anymore.
Don’t Point Fingers
As badly as you want to and you probably have good reason to, pointing fingers only escalates situations. Be mature about the situation. If there are situations that solidified your decision, make sure you present them as facts and not as feelings. Try to keep this conversation as poignant as possible.
At this point, because you’re breaking up with them, you probably wish you could curse them out every which way till Sunday. But resist! Nothing good will come from acting out of character or being unprofessional. Let them know that you love working with pets and offer any refunds or stop payments if necessary. You don’t have to bend over backward for them anymore but you do have to be professional. Know when you’re offering too much or not enough.
Leave Them Better Not Bitter
Breaking up with a client is never easy and of course, you’ll be left with lots of mixed emotions about it as well. It’s not easy knowing when the right time is for breaking up with a client. Additionally, as a business owner, it never feels good to have to terminate business with someone. But done with professionalism, compassion, and kindness, terminating a client relationship is possible.