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Challenging Customers… Let Them Go?

April 15, 2013
From Loan Officer Kelly Ifland

From Loan Officer Kelly Ifland

Is it ever advisable to let a customer go?  Difficult clients can threaten your sanity, but also your bottom line! You have two choices if you want to move past the status quo… change the dynamic or be willing to let the customer go.

Here are some questions to ask:

1. Does one client monopolize your time?

If so, you are probably shortchanging other clients or projects important to your business. Plus, it can be mentally draining.   They might be an indecisive seller who keeps contacting you but never pulls the trigger. Or a buyer who looks at a lot of homes, but nothing seems right. Difficult clients are a part of business, but so is managing them!

2. Are there adjustments you can make to improve the relationship?

Can you set boundaries or be proactive so time spent is more effective for both of you?

For example, for clients who want daily or hourly updates, consider emailing or texting every morning with a quick note on what’s happening.

3. Did you set expectations early on?

It’s tempting to be all things to clients when you’re trying to win them. However, you have to deliver, and with demanding clients, that can be a big job! You may have created the very situation you dread today.

Set expectations you can live with right up front. Once you start taking calls at 10 pm or returning messages on the Fourth of July, it will be expected.  If the client is unhappy with the boundaries, it may be okay to let them go.

4. Can you afford to lose the customer?

Sometimes, you can’t let a customer go, no matter how much you want to. That may be a sign you need to broaden your client base. If you can’t, know that the lessons learned with challenging clients can help you better serve future clients.

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