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3 Tips To Letting Go Of That Bad Customer (Without Burning Bridges)

By Darren Pierce on Mar 20, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Handling a breakup is never easy. Not only do you have to worry about your bottom line, you also have to worry about your reputation. In the age of social media, one bad experience can go viral.

Don’t drop that bad customer until you read through these 3 important tips.

1) Consider The Timing

You may wake up one morning having finally decided to drop that customer, but it shouldn’t be the first thing you do when you get to the office. You have to consider your timing.

Make the change when it will have a minimal negative impact on your company.

Financially, this could mean waiting until you land a client of comparable size. Reputably, this could mean waiting until the off-season when you have less attention.

2) Wait For A Natural Pause

Unless the situation is urgent, wait for a natural pause like when the customer’s contract expires, and be as diplomatic as possible. Explain that your company has decided to go in a different direction, and give the customer 1-2 referrals to show him that you’re not just throwing him aside.

Reach out a few months later to see if those referrals worked out to assure the customer you haven't left him high and dry.

3) Take It Slow

Don’t rip off the Band-Aid with one quick tug. Try phasing out clients slowly, and by the end of everything, make it feel like it was a mutual decision.

Avoid blaming and negativity, even if you have a long list of issues. Just get him out the door with as few words as possible and wish him the best.

Don’t post about it on social media. Don’t talk about it with other clients. Learn from it and move on.

Dropping a customer takes added time and effort, but once that Band-Aid has finally been removed, you’ll be able to breathe again.

What tips do you have for dealing with tough customers?

Written by Darren Pierce

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