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Advice - Sacking a customer

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Post Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:31 pm

Advice - Sacking a customer

Following on from another post about a customer who's communication skills are non existent and think we are sat around twiddling our thumbs waiting for their call, we're now at the point where we are giving serious consideration to 'sacking' the customer, in effect having no further dealings with them.

The stress, effort, and general chaos they bring, isn't worth the financial reward and damages our relationship with longer standing clients of our own.

So how's the best/easiest/politest way to end the relationship.
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:40 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

F***k OFF! :lol1: :wink:









ahem... sorry, on a tea break here. couldn't resist.
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:41 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

Maybe tell them you are too busy and unfortunately have had to let a couple of customers go, "we cant give you the level of service you deserve etc etc.

Steff

or you could consider the above advice, both should work !!
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:44 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

I'm all for Rob's way... but being the professional I am.

I've sent an e-mail explaining we cannot do the install they wanted tomorrow, so I have my suspicions that will end our dealings.
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:31 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

I've used Rob's method a few times but have come to realise that this is counter productive. Far better to be diplomatic and use Steph's approach explain that you cannot work within their deadlines and meet their expectations
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:01 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

I think we all have these customers.

We've had a customer who wanted things tomorrow. Yet never gave us the info we required, the last straw was a batch of leaflets, where he wanted the ASAP, we ordered and the he wanted something added.

My stepson did actually told him to fook off, in the middle of the shops show room, I could have died, it should not have happened.

Best of all, my son kept on going to his falafel shop, and we did do a few more bits for him.

We have fired other customers by saying we cannot meet their deadlines or over pricing.
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

Exactly what you said in your post describing the situation, David, say that to the customer.
He could learn something from you.
There are plenty of terrible customers out there who have no idea the chaos they cause in their day to day dealings. Maybe they could improve, and at least somebody else can get the benefit.

Or not. :D
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:18 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

Thanks for advice. As much as I'd love to say ( oh i swore ) off, I know I best not.

The scary thing is our client is dealing with some big contracts, and so for them it's worth all the agro, but not for us who are messed about with installation times/dates.
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Post Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:40 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

We had a trade customer, another signmaker in a close town.

He was from Iran, nice man but couldn't spell or measure right. So when we printed from his files, there was always problems when we fitted. In the end we had to say no more.
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Post Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:25 am

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

your the boss mate , and make sure he knows it, yeah customers always right bla bla bla, but there is that certain breed of folk that think they can talk to you and treat you like crap, even though they want you to do a job for them , that clearly they cant do themselves.

make sure they know that you call the shots, and basically they can like it , or lump it.
some will accept it and have respect for you. the ones who don't are not the kind of humans you want to be dealing with and let them go annoy someone else.
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Post Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

I learnt this before Christmas, I got fully overwhelmed by clients demanding unreasonable delivery dates etc...

So now, as part of the new years re-jig, (my main work is a Structural Engineer "one man band" )everything gets a 4-6 week lead time at standard costs, generally if they want sooner then I apply an uplift of around 10-20% per week earlier required.

I would enact something similar but also a cancellation fee for site work i.e. to cover your costs for a cancelled installation date. Get all that clearly stated in the T&C's.

I also have clients I know are more demanding so the fee gets an uplift to cover the extra piddling around. As long as they pay and don't consume your time then there is no such thing as a bad customer. I've had a few that have been a complete pain in the rear and although I probably won't work with them again I always quote the work but lift the fee to price myself out
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Post Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:47 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

Chris Ranner wrote: although I probably won't work with them again I always quote the work but lift the fee to price myself out


:D
I like your approach Chris. That way nobody gets hurt and they dont go around badmouthing you for being rude.
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Post Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:47 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

Yes Chris, we call it Tw@ tax. :lol1:

As we didn't do todays installation, we were in the office able to receive an order from an existing customer (thats already printed), which has more profit it it than the installation did, and quoted a £2000 job too, along with bashing out the vinyl for Fridays van. :thumbup2:
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Post Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:42 am

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

I feel your pain and frustration David.
I've only twice had this problem, and both time I did the same thing - like some have already mentioned, I priced myself out of the frame.
No one gets hurt, and it helps to usher your bad customer onto someone else's doorstep when he/she finds a better price.

Word of warning though if you go down that route - always make sure your price is really high, as once it backfired on me and they still accepted the cost :yikes:

Good luck mate :thumbup2:
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Post Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

If you've read my other post about finding new business you will appreciate I am quite new to this, but only this morning I had dealings with an exisitng customer who wanted some window signs doing in vinyl.

I priced the job up (using the 'Price it' Sign guide - if anyone has any comments on this I'd be interested) and gave hime the quote.

I know the price was reasonable and because he is quite a difficult customer (wants everything for nothing) I wasn't prepared to negotiate on price, and would really prefer to let him go!

His immediate response was "You're very expensive, I could get them much cheaper on eBay!" "Go ahead then" I replied.
"Err, well, I haven't got time" etc. etc.

Unfortunately he accepted my quote! :roll:
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Post Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:49 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

The ones i try to run from with high quotes are when a client wants 1 or 2 stickers printed 8). They ain't worth waking my printer out of sleep mode for.
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Post Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:58 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

Yes!!! Minimum order value for most customers, £25+VAT. We don't tend to charge £25 for a tiny sticker, but give them £25 worth of tiny stickers.
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Post Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:13 am

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

Good idea :thumbup2: , ill be using that in future hehe.
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Post Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:01 am

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

I take it you have already tried educating the customer about how you work & what you would expect from your customers. How far up the ladder is the person you are dealing with? Is there any chance you could go to someone in a senior position within the Company?
I'm not personally for pricing myself out of any jobs intentionally, always a chance the customer will go round telling people how expensive you are which could have a negative effect on your business, in fact more so in this case because the customer will already have some sort of idea about your pricing so any sudden large increase is just going to make then think you are being greedy.
I would just be honest about it & explain that you work a certain way & their expectations are causing you problems, for both of your interests you feel it would be better for them to find another Company who are better set up to meet the short turn round times that they require.

I'm in the fortunate position now where I don't have to worry about diplomacy so can use Robert's method :lol1: :lol1:
One customer I had years ago was very much like this but it was really down to a lack of understanding how the process worked at our end & the time scales that were involved. Spoke with the Boss who wanted me to continue doing work for them & he made sure that things changed. They ended up being one of my best Customers after a rocky start.
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Post Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:23 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

We always "ask to be excused from this one"
Polite yet patronising! :wink:
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Post Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:06 pm

Re: Advice - Sacking a customer

I bet also they are the kind of client, who never pays on time and you have to chase them for payments
Just sacked a client for taking months to pay, just had final cheque today.
Made me laugh when he said I was unprofessional for telling him he was not a client anymore. I don't think he got the irony.
There is a saying, good to be busy, but not a busy fool.

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