Owning and operating a small business is both rewarding and challenging. I’ve owned @byrondancedynamics for 21 years. It is a serviced based business. “The customer is always right” is not always right.
This post is about how to identify troublesome clients.
Protecting your business, the culture you’ve created and your sanity is important for you, for your staff and for your amazing clients that deserve the best of you.
The key ‘flags’ for me are:
1.When a customer doesn’t pay their bills.
We need customers to pay, or we can’t operate
2.When a customer doesn’t respect the boundaries of your time and business operations
My mobile phone used to be the main contact for my business. This changed 5 years ago to a landline in our building. Some customers that preferred to contacting me directly struggled with this greatly. They wanted to have 24/7 access to me and with over 260 students, the number of texts from parents (any time of day or night) was more than I could cope with. I had to introduce a better system (including a manager and set office hours). Most people slowly started to adapt. Putting this system in place meant I could do a more effective job. One customer ignored every request to direct their enquiry to the business and not to me. They became patronizing and rude. It was time for them to move on
3.When a customer lies
It’s odd to think adults will lie about even trivial things, but lying is an absolute red flag
4.When a customer is abusive
I once had a customer who would throw tantrums if her child wasn’t constantly praised. The mother struggled to receive balanced feedback about her child and when her child didn’t receive a major award at the end of year concert, she sent an abusive email and threatened to withdraw her child from our school. I professionally wished them well
Saying goodbye to a client is not always easy; however it is essential to service those who appreciate your service. You will then be free to give the best service possible and unapologetically grow your business.