Turning Down a Customer: The Dos and Don’ts

While we would love to cater to all our customers, at times it is not possible. It may be because the request is out of our area of expertise. It may be because of the pricing involved. It may be because of some conflicts that arise along the way. Whatever it is, while we hate to disappoint our customers, sometimes turning down a customer is the right thing to do.

That said, there are good ways and bad ways to turn down a customer. Here are some dos and don’ts when you have to decide to pull the plug:

turning down a customer

1.     DO deliver them what you have promised

If you already have a mutual agreement in the first place, make sure to always deliver what you have promised. You may not be able to continue the partnership, but the previous arrangement is still your responsibility.

2.     DO give a professional explanation

When turning a customer down, it is easy to go with the generic phrases of not being able to meet the customer’s request. However, few do the extra mile in order to explain what the true reason is. If the tight deadline is the reason, tell your customers that. If you are uncomfortable with the nature and price of the project, explain this to them as well. This shows that you have considered what your customers have proposed and think them through carefully.

3.     DO give an alternative proposition

When you say no to your customer, he or she will feel rejected. By giving an alternative proposition or recommending another service that he or she can explore shows that you are willing to continue your relationship with him or her.

4.     DON’T give negative comments

Customers are still customers, and even when you turn them down, make sure to not give negative comments about them. While the customer that you turn down may not be able to do business with you, your customer’ friends may. If the process of turning them down is a negative experience, he or she may lose you a lot of potential customers as well.

5.     DON’T give them false hopes

If you don’t want to do business with them, it is impolite to waste their time by giving them false hope as you don’t want to reject them straightaway. This may result in worsening the relationship.

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