In this episode, Danielle and Brandon discuss dealing with difficult clients, and if necessary, how to fire them.


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welcome back to the on business podcast with tons of experience in different
Industries in Canada and the United States Danielle and Brandon give you real talk no-nonsense expert advice
about running and owning successful companies here’s your host Danielle Jenkins and Brandon White
difficult clients uh I think it’s a good topic to have with both businesses
different Industries everybody deals with pain in the butt difficult clients and I just think it would be great to
hear how you deal with them how I deal with them and how others deal with them it’d be really cool to have some maybe
some stories come in from our listeners uh to tell us about how they’ve dealt with annoying or difficult clients in
their Industries yeah I’ll give you I actually you and I were talking before we started recording
the night I mean I’d mentioned one I think to you but I actually have one that’s even more
poignant which is a current customer
that in general has been good but most recently has been absolutely horrible
and for many reasons
and we’re quitting and and that that sounds crazy
but I think that what I’ve learned I don’t think I know I said this the other
day to someone I was talking about this who’s involved with this customer and
I said I I they have made it to the point where I’m saying I but effectively we but me
being the leader I’m careful with I and we I can’t work for them anymore
they’ve made it impossible to work for and their attitude is
well they’re just you’re just a vendor and sort of like
you’re one of whatever you’re not special I’m not asking to be special but we delivered an incredible product to
them this is for security company incredible in fact
a product that no other School District in this country has for
security period and they’ve just I don’t even know what the word that
they have not embraced it they’ve been super critical and this is this is not
Pat the past that’s called administrations have been super supportive and wanted it of course
because school shootings and all this sort of stuff is a major issue it happens it doesn’t get put in the news
right now or often one because of me too and followers but two because we have a
war in the Ukraine uh a market that can’t figure out which way to go every
day inflation at least the United States it appears to go through the roof and like a hundred
other issues that are going on and I think it gets drowned out but they they have made it impossible to
work for and I used to in my early career
had the attitude Danielle that we had to do whatever it took to make a
customer happy and I think that you absolutely have should
attempt to do that but what I realized is is that there’s actually some clients
customers that you will never make happy and will drain you and will
will crush you and to be candid just reflecting and talking with you here
it’s probably why I’m so exhausted this week because it’s not I haven’t ridden a ton of Miles this week and I’ve gotten
decent sleep I just check my sleep tracker and I’m I’m not in the I’m not
in the top but I’m not at the bottom it’s not like I’m getting five hours of sleep I’m getting good sleep it’s
because this customer has literally exhausted me and I just can’t deal with
it anymore and we’re never going to be successful have you ever met someone where you you just
you’re never going to make them happy and it’s not about you that that’s that’s the other thing is
it’s really not about us there’s bigger issues at stake there that they’re that
we are a byproduct of but and by the way this isn’t just me
I’m trying to put edges around this for a listener so that it’s not like me saying hey we were
awesome we’re actually been audited like the
entire nine yards ranked in the top this isn’t by Third parties this isn’t just a
a crazy thing and it just it just will not work and we’ll never be successful
and that’s a terrible that’s a terrible situation to put yourself in in a
terrible situation to put your people in your the people
your team I mean it’s just a bad situation and we’ve talked about this
and uh before I I think I brought it up where I got fired by a freelancer who
was editing actually of all things the YouTube videos for The Edge and
and she fired me and and she told me she said I can’t deal with you you’re I’m a
freelancer I’ve I need x amount of hours now
and and I told her I wouldn’t accept it I said I’m not accepting your your resignation nor are you firing me mainly
because we didn’t that wasn’t communicated up front
so I’m not blaming her she she had a valid point that maybe I should have understood but once I once I understood
the issue which was she is a freelancer she’s trying to fill 40 hours a week if
not more and she needs that block so I just guaranteed the hours and then it’s
on then the incentive is on me and and it was around not getting not getting her an answer fast enough which means
that she can’t start the clock on us which is totally reasonable so I I think
it’s a and I’m not blaming her she’s incredible editor she got a full she went and took a full-time job of all
things which I didn’t think she would do but she worked for us with us or I think
over a year 18 months and she’s an Incredible video editor I mean it’s really hard to find people that are
multi-talented in animation and editing and all that sort of stuff but um
so those are two examples of at least lessons where lessons that I’ve learned and I think that my takeaway to make it
to sum it up is there’s some customers that you’re you’re not going to make happy they are
going to suck you dry and maybe as
importantly not that the bottom line is always it when you’re you know if you have a problem with your product or
service you got to fix it but if you could get to a point where they’re just not profitable and they’re going to
whine and they’re you’re never going to make them happy then you need to fire them and I think as business owners
we’re conditioned because we want that Revenue that we’re like oh why would we ever turn away a
customer and it’s hard but I think you’ve you’ve got to do it what do you think oh yeah
um I can agree with every single statement that you made uh even back down to the point that you want to take
every client and we are conditioned to want to make every single client happy
um I remember when I first started you know when I was handing out those flyers and starting the business I literally
took on every client maybe not even knowing how I was going to accomplish what they were asking or
what they needed but I took it on because you want like you said it’s Revenue you want to see that money you
want to build your client base you want to get your company started but then as time went on I remember we had one
client and they were with me from day one they became a client from day one and as the club the company started
growing I mean I was very thankful to have them stick by us but things change you learn things you learn how your
company has to change to accommodate your employees to accommodate other clients and and the needs because you’re
all just figuring it out as you grow and so I remember speaking with this client personally and I said you know these are
the changes I’m happy to still work with you based on what you expect from me when it was just myself but now you know
these are the things that I’m going to just ask of you um because we do have to make some changes with the company changing and
obviously I’m not going to get into details because they are quite um personal in regards and confidential
in regards to the company and the client however you know from that moment on and I thought I did a really good thing by
speaking to them personally about changing and what is happening and you know I’m thankful that the company is
growing but I am thankful to have you as a client as well their total tone and mood changed with myself with the
company they would speak with to our staff like awful they would speak to me
awfully and it got to a point where I pretty much just said to them listen if you are not happy with something that we
are doing please advise so we can you know make the changes or be able to help you and they could never say anything
negative about what we were doing they were just irritable or or I guess quote
unquote about uh you know some of the smaller changes that we had to make but their service was not being
you know compromised because of these it was just I wanted to be up and honest with them about it and literally so I’ve
had this company now for almost six years I got rid of this client two years ago four years I dealt with this non
well three years they were a great client for a year um and then for three years I dealt with
these clients and the worst thing was it was constant rudeness constant
disrespect constant complaining but not complaining about
the product or the service complaining just to complain and just like your
client brand and they were draining me every time I saw their email or their name come up in my email I was like I
you know I would feel deflated and they could have sent the nicest email but it was just like here we go again and so I
was drained with this client for about three years and you know I did every single thing that we possibly could to
make these clients at least just say one thing and again the worst thing was is that no matter what they said or did
they gave us more business which did not make sense to me so they had multiple office locations they had multiple uh
residential locations multiple new construction projects so it literally hit every division of our company
Revenue was great from them so in my head I’m battling okay can I handle being disrespected and treated like you
know the maid you know for all of the money that they are spending with us or do I I or can I not handle it and of
course I have a company I’m a business owner my number one priority is revenue of the company so I just kept dealing
with it and so then I took it upon myself so my staff didn’t have to deal with those people you know our office
and GNA they didn’t have to deal with these awful clients so I then dealt with
these awful clients and it got to a point where I remember uh I think I was telling you when we were talking about
branding for our oh sorry hold on
my Brandon can you hear me my computer just or my my thing just froze are we
good we’re good okay move your mic closer
sorry maybe that’s is that better so don’t don’t so don’t worry don’t worry if it freezes we’re
using Riverside so it’s just you can keep talking it’s recording locally okay okay sorry about that
um and we’re back sorry we’re back we’re back uh so uh back to
that uh so just before I I got rid of these clients when I think I was talking
about this when we were talking about branding in the uh in one of our podcast episodes and just before Christmas uh I
guess two years ago now on our residential side of the company we always do these like quirky little gifts
um for the clients that are branded by us we spend a fortune on them it’s something that we’re able to do as you
know for our clients to be able to benefit from so this this particular year I can’t quite remember what it was
but it was something great and and every single client loved it accept these clients so
just before Christmas I had dealt with all of their crap over the last three years and we ended up getting an email
from them or I did I guess and this email was something along the lines of
and and it was so contradictory I like I can’t even even to this day two years later I still
can’t even process this in my brain the first part of the email was how great we were how great we you know all
the great product and services that we had provided and that they wish us success and then the next part of the
email was about how um no matter how crappy we treat our
clients stupid little Christmas gifts are not going to win them over
but thank you so much for your service and we look forward to working with you in the new year
and so this was just like the kind of work relationship that I had with these
people it was just you know it was draining every single time and every single time I got an email from them it
was that was literally my thought process I was almost speechless I couldn’t even process what they were saying or anything like that so
eventually I just said you know what I’m not walking into the new year with this client I’ve dealt with this enough and so I just sent them an email and said
you know hi such and such um you know I want to thank you for your loyalty over the last few years
um during the growth of our company you’ve been wonderful clients and blah blah blah blah blah blah we just said
unfortunately as of so I guess it would have been so we’re in 2022 now so I guess it would have been 2020 no
20 yeah 2020. we cannot come into 2020 with you on our on our client roster
um so we are officially terminating our client relationship or our business relationship and wish you the best
and honestly the second I sent that email I felt like the whole world was
off of my shoulders yeah and I I think it’s really hard
especially when you have Revenue coming in from these people but you have to
you can’t do all of your analysis on a spreadsheet
now you’ve got to take and I bet you if you really accounted for your time and
your staff’s time your staff in your office and your staff actually doing the
job which I’m sure there’s stories but that wasn’t just hunky-dory and easy because I’m sure they were complaining
on site if they were complaining all the way back to the headquarters and you added that up
it’s question it could it definitely cut into your margin and if it made it break
even then what the hell and here’s the other thing that I was thinking when when you were talking is that
we as business owners think well oh my competitor is going to get this
business and you know what for those clients go get them tiger yeah like that
that actually may be your biggest competitive Advantage is that you do fire your bad customers and they go to
your competitor and that your competitor basically has to deal with these people
so I think you have to switch your mindset but I am acknowledging that it
is extremely hard because we want the revenue yeah you want to keep that
Revenue coming in you want to keep you know your your client base growing you want to keep your your reputation flying
right so it is hard and I think if there’s people listening
who are early in their business Journey they’ll say well I need that revenue and not you
just said you you brought that customer on when you early on in your journey that or in your business Evolution that
you needed that revenue or or believed that you wanted that Revenue the question you really have to ask yourself
is is it holding me back from getting five more better customers and that’s a
really hard it’s really hard man I mean it is hard to fire revenue and but if you don’t do
it I would argue it’s going to cost you and here’s why
because I’m tired today because of it which affects my attitude like it or not I
mean it just does I’m probably going to be more I’m going to be short more short-tempered not that oh you’re gonna
I say short tempered uh you’re gonna have a shorter fuse and you know that causes problems
throughout your it’s not just with your other customers it’s with your clients and quite candidly it’s with your
significant others and your family who bear the brunt of that the cascading
effects of this just aren’t about it may start in the spreadsheet then it may start with your frustration and then it
may start with your staff or your your team’s frustration but the cascading
effect goes all the way back home and it even goes down to your animals right you
you have you have a puppy if you have a shorter fuse with a puppy that’s going to become
a problem and it’s not the dog’s fault and it’s not your partner’s fault and it’s not your kid’s fault it’s not your
nephews or niece’s fault but this is what it this is the actual effect and
you have to ask yourself is is that worth it and as painful as it may be
your life is probably not probably I can say this having
walked away from situations and not only I’ll say this
I mean this sort of Danielle really is
more than just we’re talking about business and customers but it could be with a co-founder it could be with a
a partner I mean all of these things and it’s and all of those things are hard to
walk away from I’ve walked away from a business partner who quite candidly I learned
of any business partners I’ve ever had learn more from him than anyone I did
but we were not a match I mean just fundamentally
fundamentally had different approaches and not necessarily Completely Different
World Views but execution approaches and that was just never going to work
based on the market we were in and what it was going to require to get to a
break-even place and that toll just wasn’t worth it on me
that company that we sold the new owners doing great I mean he’s he’s killing it
and it’s not because we couldn’t have
or someone obviously couldn’t get there it’s just that you’re you’re not a match so you got to be willing to walk away
and that opportunity which is as painful it was to leave leave money and work on
the table so to speak opened up new opportunities for me that I would have never discovered had that
not happened and probably killed myself and and relationships and 100 other
things that would have been a byproduct of me just and I did I had a short a short or a
fuse which you know it just it affects everything and your health it affects
your health it you don’t think so just weigh yourself every day and look at the
chart after a year and I bet you you can map your weight to things that are happening for most
people yeah for sure um you you made a comment about uh
clients and you’re you’re scared of you know losing that revenue and then uh you can fill it with somebody who’s willing
you know with five new clients and that really resonated with me because we’re in the service industry right so for us
that is we’ve had that many many times you know with costs of everything our
prices have to go up as does every business and we’ve had clients and this actually happened to us this uh spring
or I guess like a month ago we had to up our prices for the first time since pre-covered and during covet we have not
upped our prices once we’ve dealt with the battles we know our clients and this is on our residential division so we’re
cleaning homes in this Division and so with us you know we’ve been very fair we
know times have been hard with clients we’ve been very very reasonable we have not upped our prices as other companies
and businesses have so we’ve left it till now when people can really decide you know are they going back to work now
that kids are back in school things like that we thought it would probably be the best time to do so so we sent out saying
that we were going to increase our prices and we have had some of our clients been with us for three four years so we’ve had some clients who
emailed back right away and I’m not saying we like tripled our prices like I I’m saying like a seven percent increase
like very minimal and you know they’ve been loyal clients and uh you know we didn’t do it for more
profit per se it was literally to cover new prices I mean things have skyrocketed as per everything in the
world and so when we sent out this notice to all of our clients on the residential division we got about two or
three people that did come back and say oh well I’ve been a loyal client for this song I am not paying this increase
and so you know we then respond with you know we’re sorry we have not increased our prices and however long we do
apologize about this but as per the rest of the world and every single thing else in the world our prices have went up
because the rest of the world’s prices have went up you know gloves and products and supplies and just
everything that we need to run our business I mean they all go up so when we explain that to the client it was the
same thing well you know I’ll go to such and such and get another another person
to clean my house for much less or whatever it may be and we literally have to say and and because I don’t deal with
every single client on our residential side like maybe Samantha does or our other Danielle does and so they would
have to just sit there and and they’re like oh my God you know Danielle’s gonna be pissed because now we have a client
that’s potentially walking away so then they’re calling me going what do you want to do you know people are getting upset and I said let them go we don’t
need them because the thing is if and I don’t want to sound cocky you know I
don’t like what you would say what you were saying before we’re not number one maybe I mean we’re
very great we have completely dominated the cleaning industry um up here and so
I don’t want to sound cocky but we have enough business and clients coming in that we do not need to deal with people
who are not willing to pay for prices that are fair due to the global market so you know I said to them let them go
send an apology we do understand you know that times are tough right now whatever the reasoning that they gave
may be and uh if there’s anything that we can do for you in the future please let us know and guess what literally
within half an hour we have new requests coming in and they’re approving the new price they don’t know the old price so
we give them the new price on their quotes and then there we go we fill them in and those clients are we don’t miss
them and again I don’t want to sound harsh but it’s true we have a business to run we we can’t keep them if it’s not
making sense money-wise why do we have a business we do it to make money you know if we’re all losing money it would be a like a non-for-profit or or charitable
organization so um you know you have to at least cover your your expenses and we have a
business to make money and make a little bit of profit so um yeah so it’s it’s very difficult I
mean some clients don’t understand and sometimes it’s not even about them being difficult clients it’s that
they don’t understand they think that our prices maybe are the same all the time because it’s something that we’re
doing the same all the time but then when you break it down to them they’re like oh you know what we do understand sorry it’s just not feasible for us
right now easy peasy but then you do get those ones that are about it they’re rude they’re disrespectful and
you just have to brush it off and not let it bother you because even six years in now we’ve gotten some emails or even
Google reviews that I’ve read and I literally just want to cringe and cry and break down because I’m thinking oh
my God this one Google reviews literally going to ruin our reputation um
and I just have to kind of breathe and let it be because one one star Google review out of 75 Stars says more about
them than it does us so that’s kind of what I’ve had to think about when we’ve been dealing with those clients in these
difficult times with clients well I agree I think that the the
takeaway is sometimes people aren’t a fit businesses aren’t a fit Services products aren’t a fit
and that’s okay one thing you said was that you had so many customers that it doesn’t affect
you I I think I would emphasize even for people who are starting
it’s easy when you have a thousand customers to let a customer go it is harder when you think back to when you
started when you had five customers and you would have to let one go so I would have never right I mean it’s very hard
for listeners out there you might have to tolerate something for
Revenue if it’s profitable would I would argue that you shouldn’t I would argue that
you should cut those losses because the stress of dealing with that angry
customer is going to suck so much not just of your actual time but your mental energy that you’re not going to get the
next five and maybe if you cut them you weren’t going to get five you’re going to get 10 because you don’t have all I
mean that stuff weighs on you it weighs on you it’s not like you turn put your computer down or you leave that whatever
your whatever your business is and it goes away it lingers and it and it sticks with use and I’ve had that and
it’s easier to say in retrospect because you can at least reflect on it and if
you’re earlier in your customer Journey or your business
it’s good to listen to people who have already done it and said hey I would do that that so that’s what I would say
there the other part I was going to ask you is do you Yelp
and Google reviews all this stuff is a big deal now people been dealing with it and even Amazon reviews
with this sort of stuff and there’s actually tactics out there where
competitors will seed your stuff on purpose to your point
having won one star and having four and five stars the rest of them I think someone can easily see but do you
respond to those people on Google reviews or Yelp or whatever whatever you use Google
reviews I think more than most most anything so do you think that people should respond I do I think it paints
the real story um and I can give an actual experience to this one so we had a
client that reached out in November on the residential side of the company and
one of our managers were dealing with her and she wanted a clean within
something ridiculous like three or four days and we couldn’t do it we were literally booked up I think until
January 1st we were not taking on any more clients and especially with December being so busy for us and we
again over time learning this that not to spread yourself too thin because and
you know like over promise under liver kind of thing so we wanted to make sure that we weren’t going to say oh yeah we
can fit you in and then we have to cancel so we were very upfront with her we could not fit you in blah blah blah turns out we actually ended up having a
cancellation so she was okay with us telling her that we couldn’t fit her in blah blah blah we then had a cancellation so Samantha
reached out to her and said great news we can fit you in we just had a cancellation well we didn’t hear from
her like at all so we obviously gave that to somebody else that was on our waiting list but we gave it to her first
I think something like January 12th came around and she emailed back and said oh
I wasn’t expecting a response from you until January so I didn’t check my email which anybody from today’s day and age
doesn’t just have a conversation via email with one company or one person so
whether you missed it whether you just didn’t care for it whatever not my problem it is what it is so we said okay
no problem we can fit you in February or like what whatever the conversation was we were fitting her in
regardless well that didn’t work for her okay and we were like well we can’t we don’t have anything else we take
priority over our clients who are With Us Weekly bi-weekly every four weeks those are the ones that we take care of
if people come in for a one-time clean great we’ll fit you in if we can but we we’re not going to move our clients that
pay you know every week or two weeks to be with us and expect loyal service to
fit somebody in that’s just a one-time clean and again that’s something that you kind of have to learn
um the worth of your company and and your kind of morale uh to be able to to
share with your loyal clients so back to that and so she got annoyed and she said well let
me know when we can fit you in or whatever so we emailed her again and said listen we can fit you in as of this
date this date this day please take your pick well she didn’t answer so I said you know what I’m not playing this game
anymore she’s just giving us a run for our money stressing us out because it was it was this one client out of
thousands of residential clients was always on the back of my mind and I don’t typically deal even with the
residential side but you know I have to hear it from our admin staff from Samantha going oh my God this client
like you know we still haven’t heard from her should we book in that spot with another client that’s asking for that spot like just it was a lot so I
said no we’re not so then next thing you know out of the blue we get a Google review
from this woman a one star and it was her side of the story saying that she reached out for a clean we said no
blah blah blah blah blah that we were never accommodating that it seemed as if we didn’t want her business and at the
bottom she writes all I wanted was my house cleaned so I took it upon myself
to share the real story so and and some people have told me that it could have been a little bit too much but I need
people to understand that this is her opinion of what happened and not the
truth so I laid out the Story from beginning to end and copied and pasted
all of the email correspondence so people who read that could see okay so
this woman just posted that we never responded that we never gave her options that we never wanted her business and I
time stamped dated and copied and pasted every single email between her and Samantha from the time that business
relationship started to the point to the second it ended um so like I said so people could read
it and go okay so yeah the client was probably pissed off that we couldn’t fit her in however it’s not like we weren’t
answering her or weren’t giving her options we just merely were not able to make it happen as a relationship so
um I highly suggest responding to all of them in a professional way I mean even in that response that I outlined all of
our emails I was still very courteous still very professional and friendly at the bottom I still said you know I wish
you would have called or emailed again instead of posting a Google review
um if there’s anything that we can do for you in the future we would love to see if we can help you then and I was
still very polite about it but people do yeah when you said I wouldn’t have said that I would have
said it if there’s anything else we can do for you I’d say look we’re just not a fit for one another it’s okay
I think that that whole that whole tendency of us as humans and as business owners to
always please I think you need to make customers happy but not at all costs when in this case there was you were
never going to win so I wouldn’t even have said that I just said Hey look
we’re we’re not we’re not a fit your expectations of who we are and what we do is off with Who We Are
I mean in general we can’t make money if we don’t have repeat customers doing one-offs we want to do of course but we
can’t all our business model doesn’t allow us to make money and people who say oh you went too far if you didn’t
post that then the problem is online is that
the person reading it gets to make up the story in their head and you don’t set it straight and some people may not
read your whole response right immediately but at least it’s there so that someone could read it and I think
people say oh I I get that like you’re taking it too far well
you that could or couldn’t be true but break that apart for me
and maybe you’re using words that aren’t maybe you’re using words to express how
you your how you feel of what was done that may not be accurate to the emotion
which is wow that makes me feel uncomfortable but being uncomfortable doesn’t mean that it’s too far right it
just means that it makes people uncomfortable and I think sometimes you have to hold people accountable
for what they do now if if you made a mistake
I think you should and I have done that hey look we made a terrible mistake
what we forgot your appointment I’m making this up if someone said you know we we miss booked it we overbooked it
then you what I would say is don’t make excuses right but accept the responsibility I
think this isn’t true in business not just business I think this is in life making excuses is just it it just I had
someone make excuses recently I’m like why don’t you just own it right you didn’t do it you made a mistake it’s
because they’re not confident they’re insecure they and they’re scared versus
hey we we’re not perfect we made a mistake we want to fix it for you we
want to do the very best it was completely our fault so I I think these are the I’m not saying that these are
easy but once you start doing it more you’ll get confidence that you’re
actually not your business isn’t going to die you’re going to get better customers and you’re probably going to
get better respect I think some people get tied up on well
they don’t treat me right or I had said earlier sharing that one story and you said it when you described
it to say oh they don’t treat us right they treat us like a vendor look that
everybody should treat people with respect but at the end of the day you know we’re you you provide a service to
someone and if they want to treat you like that as long as it’s not abusive you know some people are just
transactional yeah hey Danielle you clean my house I pay you money yep and that’s okay but I do think there’s
this level it’s like you know I judge people by I say judge people I make an
assessment of people that I want to be around by how they treat the waiter or waitress
yeah and that’s a good indication so my point in in sharing that is simply we’re
all human just treat humans as humans and it doesn’t matter what
you’re doing or who what job they’re doing or where they are in the in the economic or the social
Stratosphere it’s uh just just treat people as a human there’s not like
nobody’s less human right and I cannot even add to that I mean there’s been many times and I’m being very honest
when I say this many times that we have royally effed up and I’m very honest
about that I mean there’s been times where I’ve gotten a call actually this was one time recently uh within the last
few months I got a phone call on my cell phone at 7 30 at night I answer it
and it was a client that I was supposed to have a zoom meeting with and it was not in my schedule it was not in our
system and I’m thinking okay so I asked for their email like look through and bless her heart Samantha was emailing with her
and she accidentally forgot to put it in my schedule and so Samantha you know
owned it she gave her own accountability and she said you know what I’m so sorry it was an extremely busy day I just
forgot to put you uh in Danielle’s schedule and the client was cool with it she’s like you know what it’s all good I
get it we’re all busy totally fine but if we would have just brushed that off and and made some BS up that it was
the client’s fault of course that’s not going to go over well um so yeah we’re all human I mean there’s also been times where we’ve
quoted for jobs and and hence you learn things and then
you change your processes and your systems that is something I’m very uh is very important to me within our company
however there’s been times where we’ve quoted people and we have went way off and we’ve then
had to take that because now we’re out of pocket money because we’ve had to send four people instead of two people
because I can’t now ask the client to pay double what they were quoted because of our screw-up so you learn from these
but again if I would have said to the client oh well too bad I screwed up with the quoting so now you’re gonna have to
pay three thousand dollars instead of fifteen hundred that client’s probably going to leave me a shitty Google review and it’s going to be my fault because I
screwed up so sometimes you do have to take those screw-ups on the chin and own them and deal with them
professionally and accordingly however yes there are difficult clients that uh
we will all deal with and yes anybody starting has to make that decision and I’m not
saying it’s easy because I’ve done it and even to this day six years later disappointed clients or annoying clients
or clients that are difficult for not even a fault of ours
and it’s all their fault still make me feel like my heart is breaking if
they’re unhappy with any kind of thing in the company and I get that so like I’m not saying it’s easy and neither is
Brandon I mean he’s obviously dealt with his fair share of difficult clients um but you do need to make that decision
because they will wear on you and uh and if anybody has any stories about
difficult clients that they need help with I would love to hear them and Brandon can tell you what to do how to
deal with them I think that would be quite funny that’d be great yeah I think the
takeaway here is gotta fire back your bad clients after you as long as you haven’t screwed up
and if you do screw up own the screw up and I think you’ll find very quickly that it will disarm
the I don’t know what it’s called the the anger or whatever it is very very
quickly and own it and try to make it better and you should go out of your way if it was your fault yeah to to to do
that but there are some clients that you will never make happy will not be
profitable on a financial basis nor on your mental basis from you and your
staff and you just got to make that you gotta gotta cut beat while you can and move on and in general as long as you
have a good product and service that solving a problem for people you’re going to get more customers right and I
just want to add before we end here uh to your point of yes you need to fire those clients please please please do
this in a professional um very courteous way and the reason I
say that is with everything that we talk about even I think last week we spoke about social media and everything being
online I.E Google reviews and Facebook pages and things like that people copy and paste I mean I did it I I copied and
pasted the email thread so you do not want to send an email to a client and go you’re an effing idiot we do not want to
work with you you’ve caused us so much stress even though it could be true you could be feeling all that stress but do
not say that just politely say you know what unfortunately this business relationship is no longer working we
wish you the best um I just do not want to see anybody’s business be slandered on Twitter or
Google because they you know some feisty admin Center I think that’s
important that is important to basically consider anything you put I think this is just a general rule you better
consider anything that you put digitally text email I don’t know smoke signal because
someone will will will use their phone to take a video yeah take a video of it
the anything like that you you better just expect even voice candidly because someone is
probably taping it somewhere just think about what you what happens before your
fingers or you say something out of your mouth but I think it’s totally respectful Danielle to say
I I you’re you’re a little bit more formal like hey this business relationship wouldn’t work I’d just say
hey look we’re not a fit for one another I it’s not good or bad we are clearly
not a fit it doesn’t make sense to make it work we’ve tried to make it work
you’re not happy we’re not happy let’s just agree as as people that it’s not a
fit and if I can help you find other people in
fact I think that’s a good suggestion in that and it makes you a good business owner
in the sense that this is sort of off topic but on topic is that trying to make a
custom bracket for a collector surfboard that I bought that we have hanging as
you go up the steps and I am going to a friend of mine went in
together to design this because you got to cut the metal and this bracket is going to be
ridiculously expensive for what it is but I want it to be stainless steel because we have all these we have
stainless steel accent things on the glass that goes up the steps and everything and
I was thinking well I’m just going to get them to make a bunch of them
because I don’t want this vendor who’s local here and is super guys to lose
money on this like this is a little project custom project I’m not wanting to lose money on a 300 bracket so I
figured I said hey look just cut as many as you can out and I’ll sell them and I was thinking how I was going to Market that on Etsy and I’m basically just
going to say hey this is a high-end stainless steel surfboard bracket it’s not meant for
everyone don’t get mad that it’s 375 dollars here’s four other options
that you can go to for 50 bucks right and and my point in telling the story is
just say it might not be a fit for everyone I mean you know this this might not be a fit for you but I’m not going
to slander you or get mad at you because you don’t buy my product here’s actually
three cheaper options and I think that you’ll be amazed
at what happens because I’ve done that in fact Yvette does this with her dog
agility she has a dog agility training facility and she has
I mean bless her heart has defined her customer so specifically
that it is not even a debate for her it’s not debatable she wants to do and
only does competition agility if you want your dog trained to sit and lay
down and she doesn’t do that and she’s not going to even
consider it I mean it’s it’s not even a consideration and even further while she
does intro classes for people who want to do agility she defines it your dog has to sit it has to come on recall you
have to be able to work off leash you basically need these fundamental things
and she will recommend people now that’s a different a different type of
training but even in dog agility she says the people that come here first of all she has a waiting list as
as long as it from here to the moon but what she can accommodate just by mere
fact it’s she doesn’t have enough she doesn’t want to expand bigger than she has with two fields and and she doesn’t
want to deal with that which is fine the but she will say hey why don’t you go to
this training facility and GO train there for a minute and if you
get serious good or bad you can you know then this then then
this will be a fit for you it’s not that we don’t want you it’s just that you’re not at that level and this isn’t a fit
and I’m using this example because she does this every day and people actually get really mad at her
and and she said Hey look the people who are coming here come to these classes
they commit to the six or eight week blocks and they want to compete they they even if
they’re I mean everybody wants to win right I’m not big on this participation but I mean I mean there’s first second
and third place and but people want to win but some people go to compete they try to do their best but they’re that’s
not as important to them as the the fun of of doing that and doing these events
but she is very defined and people will come they get mad at her they and they
keep trying to come back they’re like well I want to participate or she’s like look we’re just not a fit go to these
the point of this is she will ex she will give them the facilities
name number and email and I think what that does is it it actually
you know it’s a real model and she’s really become a little enterprisers that way but if you can do that
then your business is going to be a hundred percent better because she had I
don’t know if she’s ever compromised I think somebody has snuck into a few of those classes and it’s just been a
nightmare because what it does is it actually affects all of the other customers because in her case the dog
rooms a dog’s gonna bite someone the dog’s gonna get aggressive it’s a it’s a major issue for her business in that
sense and um but the point is is that she’s very defined and she she recommends that’s
two examples there she recommends other businesses which in your case you could say hey look we are expensive here’s
three other cleaning companies that will will do a good job better less
yeah that are less and will be our level of service I don’t know it’s sort of like buying a
um a Mercedes like yeah there’s cheaper cars you can buy
the Honda Accord the Honda Accord is a great car right it it’s to get you there it’s quiet they’ve made great advances
it’s not a Mercedes but it’s still a great car and um I think that if you’re willing to do
that now you need to that’s probably uh you know if you go to Mercedes dealership and they tell you you’re probably a Honda Accord person you’re
probably going to be offended so you need to adjust that adjust that and not
be a snob but I think our discussion here is really just
offer Alternatives and be willing to say hey we’re just not a fit for one another and we’ve actually done that like just
as you were saying like we have done that um we just like Yvette she sets expectations for her clientele you know
you your dog needs to be able to do basic stuff like this then we will take you in we need to make sure you’re a good fit for us
to take on new clients they need to agree to pay for the what we call and
I’m speaking on the residential division of the company um they need to pay for a full deep
clean of their home before we will do any kind of weekly bi-weekly or monthly visits so then what that means is it is
the most expensive visit our deep clean specialist team goes in they do
everything from top to bottom walls baseboards windows inside of your fridge they pull your fridge and your oven out they do inside outside of your cupboards
they do absolutely everything the reason being and we’ve learned that and just
like probably that you know she’s learned that if she takes on dogs that do not know basic commands she’s gonna
have chaos we have taken in clients where before we implemented that where
they just wanted you know three hours whatever whatever you can do in three hours so we go in they sign off on the
three hours we come in we do what we can in three hours then we leave then we get an email oh well this wasn’t done well
this wasn’t done how come this wasn’t done well this was done but I would have preferred this to be done
so to solve that problem now you know because your idea of what you would want done in three hours Brian like maybe you
want your surfboard dusted and your liquor cabinet dusted and shined and maybe I want all of my shoes dusted and
my desk cleared off you know like everybody has different ideas of what they want done right so we always say
you need to be able to sign off on this and it’s an astronomical price compared to every other cleaning business it is
however we come in we do everything top to bottom then it sets your home up where within a week or two weeks we can
then come in and do everything maintain all of those items so not one thing is
missed all of those items are done and so nobody can ever come back and say well
this wasn’t done this wasn’t done because everything has been done once and now we’re just maintaining it in the time that they’ve approved for on their
weekly bi-weekly visits so just like Yvette to prevent chaos with the other
dogs we prevent chaos with our staff with the clients potentially because they don’t understand right like they
don’t understand why that because they want certain things done but they also didn’t tell us and we’re not mind readers so to prevent that we set that
standard that prior to coming to work with us you have to do that initial deep clean it could potentially cost you two
thousand dollars also just to note it’s not always that much we make them
approve that they need to be okay with that in case it does cost that much however if it doesn’t take that amount
of time they are billed much less it is then built on the hours that were spent to complete that initial deep clean just
for anybody listening um and if anybody’s interested I can tell them about that after however we
make them do that and then we go into their their visits after so everything is done everything is maintained and
that has been a game changer for us but we have had clients that even this
morning you know I had to deal with Samantha this morning we had a client call The Wanted
um monthly visits and monthly service sorry and so Samantha sent them the quote for
that initial deep clean and then their monthly visits and she came back and said well I don’t need the deep clean I clean myself I just want regular visits
and we said sorry we can’t do that and she sent back I am not approving this this is you know astronomical blah blah
blah blah blah and so now we’ve had to make the decision and where we’ve had to say you know we’re terribly sorry this is just what we do company policy
basically and um and you know I’m sure there’s three
other businesses in the area but we have done that where we said you know we understand that things can be difficult
um and that we are expecting a lot from you however please reach out to such and such they’re a great cleaning company
I’m not sure what their standards and policies are but they may be worth a shot
yeah I’ll probably leave that last part out but I think what you do
is the right thing if you don’t our lady who cleans our house
she said the same thing mainly because if you don’t Baseline it and then
someone finds crumbs underneath the stove they’re gonna say well you didn’t clean that well it we
never it was like that before we got there now you’re in this argument and I think everybody out there has to design
these Baseline I mean some of this is some of this isn’t relevant to some people who sell product in that sense
you’re just selling your your product but then you have someone comes back says your product didn’t work and yada yada so
I I think in a service business for sure you’ve got to figure out some sort of
Baseline either in your case I would do the same thing I understand it’s expensive
in some cases mainly because maybe people haven’t cleaned their house and and how many people pulled those stove
out and how many people put their refrigerator out how many people vacuum actually vacuum under the bed I I mean
there’s there’s all these things where homes get really dirty or how many
people get on their hands and knees and clean the baseboard I can’t stand dirty
basement I I I can’t stand glass that’s especially in the house that has dust on
it but yeah I’m just saying that re or or fans fans I’m sure you know are
probably one of the worst how many people actually get on especially like our fan our one fan goes it’s non-stop
it’s always on circulating air because we have vaulted ceilings or high ceilings in we just leave it on to circulate the air
but how many people get up on that thing and and clean the fan and what will happen I
bet in your case is someone will turn off the fan the Fan’s not cleaned and they’re like hey hey Danielle your your
person didn’t clean the fan you’re like your Fan’s been like that that for 10 years clearly look at there’s six inches
of dust on it I’m surprised it didn’t fall off the thing so I think you have to in all things you have to decide how
to in Services how to base Baseline that and sometimes you have to I can tell you
we did something similar with our security company where and our customers
are Enterprise customers or have been is Baseline and say hey we
have to do an assessment and you have to pay for that assessment and it cost X and people say well yeah
man that’s a lot of money well I don’t know how we would one be able to even scope a job to get you up
to standards without discovering all this and two is if we don’t Baseline it you won’t know
what work we did or didn’t do and and it allows you to choose what to do that and
some people have said well we have a baseline well show us the report but we’re still going to come on site and verify it I mean now we’re verifying
someone else’s work whether it was yours or someone else so I think in in Services you you sort of have to get a
Baseline and on a product you’re just dealing with customers who are who are not good and if I if you have a product
you might just say Hey look we’re going to take the return we’re
going to give you your money back but maybe you should get some other product because this isn’t going to work for you
and I think the other thing that I was thinking with you not to go too far today but
what this really comes down to I don’t think I didn’t expect to get to this point but you can tell me what you think
I think it all comes down to absolutely defining who your ideal
customer is and Yvette did that and knows that and it allows her to make really easy
decisions about either clients who aren’t a fit or bad credits
yeah easily like I mean but if you don’t have that definition
is actually that’s why these conversations are so good they also I always walk away with thinking I was
thinking about for our software file finder that were that we’ve been working on recently which is hey if you don’t have
a lot of files in your email or you don’t deal with a lot of files you’re not a fit like don’t buy or don’t buy
our software but if you do have a lot of files and you receive files in your email and you can’t find them which none
of us generally can that’s why we built it then this is a thing and I I think it
allows you but it goes back to what you and I were talking about and then I’ll shut up which is is
is you’re scared to turn away the revenue because you
want all that Revenue but I think what it really comes down to is your ideal customer and your ideal customer by the
way in your avatar if you’ve built that it also talks about their attitude and
you’ve said this and I think I’ve said it is hey they treat they treat other humans with with dignity and respect and
that is part of the Avatar and if they fail that part Beyond paying you then
you go back to that Avatar and it’s pretty easy to tell them how you’re
not a fit so um we probably yeah I think we’ve got a lot of great examples today yeah and that’s what I love about our podcast we
always start with a discussion and then we always end up coming to some cool agreement of you know something that is
really powerful I think for our listeners and for us even I mean we’ve taken a lot of what we take or what we
talk about in podcasts and changed some things um but yeah I think 100 it comes down to
and maybe I don’t know what the topic of our podcast is going to be today now but I think it comes down yeah knowing your
ideal client knowing your company worth as well
and I you know about the the swaying with um you know like Yvette letting like
sneaking those people in there that necessarily haven’t or us I’m telling you right now like if we were to sway on
our um process of that say initial deep clean and we have since implementing it
it always ends in chaos every single time so yes know your ideal clients
um know how to deal with bad ones and let them go in a professional manner I think that’s very important
that’s a great summary in rap enjoy your week Danielle thank you so much I hope you enjoy your weekend as well I will be
puppy bottling sounds very fun
hi everyone hi