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beefy
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I have a small excavation business and the way this industry operates is backwards. Customers book you for a certain day, and there are no deposits or cancellation fees. A very typical situation is that the job is one day maybe two, or two days maybe three. So you can’t even go looking for work on that last day because MAYBE you will be on the present one. Do we get any form of retention payment for having our entire business reserved for a day just in case it’s needed, nope. I’ve talked with so many customers about this and they think it’s ludicrous that they should have to pay a cancellation fee or retention fees. Believe me I have a lot more gripes about customers and they expectations of what they think they should get for free. They don’t care one bit they I lose entire days of work because of this “booking system”. I’ve had weeks where 5 days work were available yet I got only two of them because of cancellations and being retained but the last day was not needed.

Good customers who actually show some consideration to you and your business are an absolute wonder and should be treated accordingly. On the other hand so many want to bleed you for their benefit. They have the opinion that they are doing you a favour. Explaining to them they are costing you lots of income falls on completely deaf ears. Their reasoning is if you don’t give me this, there’s other businesses that will. Unfortunately it’s a case of who needs who the most. Many will take take take simply because they can.

I’ve just lost (intentionally) a customer of 15 years. I could not take any longer how he changed his mind at a moments notice and had me running around organising my gear at the last minute when he knew well in advance. I just lied to him and told him I don’t have a certain machine any more (it’s sitting right outside LOL). He explained that without that machine I was no good to him and I just shrugged and showed indifference. I think he was expecting me to start begging. I felt such a weight lifted off my shoulders, like I’d been let out of a cage.

I’ve got rid of other horrid customers and the feeling is always the same – uplifting.

If your business can survive it then get rid of customers that stress you out, screw you around, want things for free, etc, etc. They cost you money, time and leave you feeling degraded when you eat their crap. You didn’t go into business for this type of “reward”.