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Do You Or Don't You

59% of Businesses Fire Aggravating Customers

Do you fire aggravating customers?

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Yes: 59%

  • We have only fired three customers in our 30 years of business. The last one was making false accusations about one of our groomers and told us she didn’t feel safe in our store with the groomer here. — Richie Powell, All American Pet “Supplies & Grooming,” Springfield, OR
  • Clients who continually disregard our policies or take advantage of the kindness of our employees are given a warning (verbal/email) that we may no longer accept their appointment request. And dogs that are overtly aggressive or have severe medical issues are declined services without warning. — Sarah Cordes, Knotty Dog, Chelsea, AL
  • If any of my employees feel threatened or if any customer crosses the insubordination line, I give power to my employees to ask the customer to leave. It hasn’t happened in a while, though. Thank DOG! — Jennifer Flanagan, Nature’s Pet Market Sherwood, Sherwood, OR
  • I tell my aggravating clients that we do our best to give great service, but perhaps another business may be able to meet their needs. — Marcia Cram, Just Fur Pets, Springfield, VA
  • We’ve had some longtime clients that get on our “C” list. These are people that continue to take advantage of you. We simply drop them from a list or start saying no to their requests. I had one client get my cellphone number and totally abuse it. She would call on Sundays, any time she would think of something she needed for her dogs. She would want my advice and then tell me my products are too expensive and would buy from somewhere else. I just stopped returning her calls. Even having a store, there are good times and bad times in a relationship. I think knowing when the relationship cannot move forward is key to your sanity, and bottom line profits. — Debbie Brookham, Furry Friends Inc., Colorado Springs, CO
  • We don’t have any specific guidelines for this, but I know there have been unique occasions where a manager has had to make it clear to a customer that we wouldn’t be able to serve them in the future. — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pets Products, Nashville, TN
  • If they miss two consecutive appointments without notice, if they have an aggressive pet and they refuse to acknowledge the bad behavior and seek help from a vet for meds before the next groom. I just told a client she was no longer welcome in my store and salon with her Husky who kept trying to bite us. I even have his dangerous behavior on video and the owner insisted he “is such a good boy.” I refuse to put my staff in danger. One bad bite can end a career and cause permanent damage. — Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville, OH
  • I fire clients when they consistently do not pay on time, if they are rude to my staff repeatedly, or if their pets are a liability to care for. — Ashley Cook, Viva La Pet, Dover, NJ
  • The breaking point for us is customers who routinely want us to change our rules to accommodate them, with little upside for our business. — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX
  • Above all, communication is key. If I have a client that is difficult and refuses to listen or compromise…. it’s a done deal. I don’t push, but I am clear. Clarity through communication is best. — Rachel Diller, The Poodle Shop, Littleton, CO
  • The relationship must be mutually positive. We are happy to help customers find another company to better fit their needs if we aren’t the right fit. — Sherry Shupe, Fur Baby, Milford, DE
  • I hate using the term “fire,” but I’d say more along the lines of “ending the relationship.” In the years that I’ve dealt with the public, I’ve learned some people will just never be happy. I go above and beyond to try and right every situation, but if I see you’re just a miserable human being, that’s that. No need for the two of us to be miserable. — Amanda Bowman, Fairy Tales Mobile Grooming, Cherry Hill, NJ

No: 41%

  • We did have a customer with repeated issues of rudeness, and finally one day she snapped and swore at a new employee. (The customer thought she was due for her free bag, and she’d been clearly told her previous visit how many more she had to buy.) We sent her a strongly worded email that her behavior was unacceptable, and that if she wanted to continue to shop she could NOT behave that way. She was very contrite, apologized repeatedly, and has been nice ever since. Luckily, this was a rare issue and we have not had other issues like this! — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • I handle them in the best possible way. Never be rude to them, never raise my voice, and never make them feel attacked or intimidated or humiliated. I just give them all the best possible information that I can. — Dylan Giampaolo, Woof Woof Pet Boutique & Biscuit Bar, New Bedford, MA
  • We are a kill-’em-with-kindness store. We never stop smiling; we never stop trying. As long as it doesn’t get nasty, we send them them on their way knowing we didn’t take bait. Brett Foreman, euPAWria Holistic Pet Center, Owego, NY
  • I do not allow customers to aggravate me. I generally will listen and then either agree or delicately let them know that I am in control of the situation. — Laura Haupt, Bark & Meow, Tarry Town, NY
  • We do our best to work through the most difficult customer, I, as the owner, deal with them directly. We talk over our policies and work through the issues. It often put the team members in a tough situation to deal with them, so we find if they hear it from me it is better handled. — Christine McCoy, The Natural Pet Enrichment Center, North Royalton, OH

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