I talk a lot about how not every Pet Owner is the right client for your business.
It can be a bit tricky to get your head around, especially when you’re starting out and every client feels like a lifeline, but most of us quickly learn that taking on the wrong clients can do more harm than good.
Knowing you occasionally have to decline clients is not the same as knowing how to decline a client.
Here are some tried and tested ways to professionally and politely decline a client whilst maintaining your reputation
#1. Recommend another Pet Business That’s a Better Fit
It’s always good to have allies in the industry. Pet Businesses that share similar values but have a slightly different niche to you and perhaps offer different services.
It’s not just good for handling clients that aren’t a good fit, but can lead to gaining referrals from them, collaborations, growing your reputation in the community and just not feeling as alone as we sometimes do as business owners.
That said, don’t simply palm off your difficult customers on someone else! This strategy works best when you genuinely know of another business that can better meet their needs.
#2. Politely let them know that what they’re asking for is not a service you provide
This works well with customers who are being more demanding than you’d like e.g. asking for a very specific time slot, member of staff or check in and out at the start and end of visits.
Simply explain ‘That’s not part of any of the services we currently offer. I’ll be happy to get back in touch with you if we add it’
If they are persistent, explain ‘We’ve worked hard to create processes that work best for us and our clients and this is what’s working best for our customers at the moment’
Try not to over-explain or be drawn into justifying your reasons. Stay firm and polite and they can accept the service you offer or go elsewhere.
3. Quote a Higher Price For What They Want
This can be risky and I’d only recommend it if you genuinely would be happy to offer what they want at the price you quote!
Most of the time when they realise it would cost you more in wages or resources they’ll understand why it’s not included, so as I’ve said it CAN be risky.
If it’s something you can (and want to) do though, and there is demand, it could be a great addition to your business!
#4. Refer them to your eBook that details your services
As you may know, I highly recommend eBooks for your Pet Business! Both to attract the best clients AND to inform your clients once they hire you.
When you have good eBooks in place it’s unusual to have to decline a customer, but even when you do, referring them to your eBook is a really effective way to deal with it.