Firing a Client
As a pet business owner, it can be challenging to deal with difficult clients. While most pet owners are incredibly appreciative of the service and peace of mind you provide, there may be a time when you find yourself in a situation where you need to fire a client. Firing a client is never easy, but sometimes it is necessary to maintain the integrity of your business and ensure the well-being of the pets in your care, your self care, and your staffs’ morale. In this article, we will discuss some reasons why you might need to fire a pet care client.
Lack of Respect for Your Business
One of the main reasons you might need to fire a pet care client is if they do not respect your business. This could manifest in several ways, such as consistently canceling services at the last minute, expecting you to work outside of your normal business hours and respond to them at all hours of the day, challenging or flat out refusing your policies, or mistreating your staff. If a client is not willing to adhere to your policies or shows a lack of respect for your company’s time and effort, it may be time to cut ties with them. Remember, running a pet care business is a job, and you deserve to be treated with professionalism and respect.
Concern for the Safety of the Pets in Your Care
Another reason you might need to fire a pet care client is if you have concerns for the safety of the pets in your care. This could include a client who consistently leaves dangerous objects within reach of their pets or who does not properly secure their home, leaving the pets vulnerable to escape or injury. They may also have an unkept home which poses a threat to pet and staff safety. They may have a home that is very difficult to navigate in order to provide the best quality care for their pets - this includes long driveways that are not maintained during weather events, or they refuse to keep any lights on at night and it’s difficult to gain entry and ensure pets don’t escape. As a pet care provider, your main priority is the safety and well-being of the animals you care for as well as the people who care for them. If you feel that a client is not taking this responsibility seriously, it may be necessary to end your working relationship with them.
You might need to fire a pet care client if they have unreasonable expectations. This could include a client who expects you to spend an excessive amount of time with their pets without charging more, or who expects you to provide services that are outside of the scope of your business such as running errands or cleaning parts of the home not used by pets or staff members. We’ve even heard stories of pet care providers being told to wait in the home for a previously scheduled home maintenance tech to arrive so they can let them in! While it is important to be flexible and accommodating, within reason, you also need to set boundaries and ensure that your clients understand what services you can and do provide. If a client is consistently pushing the limits of what you are able to do, it may be necessary to let them go.
There may be other situations where firing a pet care client is necessary. For example, if a client consistently fails to pay their invoices on time, or all together. If they are verbally abusive or threatening, it’s always best to prioritize your safety and well-being and end your relationship with them.
The Firing Process
If you do need to fire a client, it is important to do so in a professional and respectful manner. Schedule a time to speak with the client in person or over the phone, or through clear and fair written communication, and explain your reasons for ending the relationship. Be honest and direct, but avoid getting into arguments or placing blame. Offer to refer them to another pet sitter or professional pet care organization if possible, and make arrangements for the safe return of their keys if they are in your care.
Firing a client is not a failure on your part as a pet care provider! It is a necessary step to ensure the safety and well-being of the pets in your care, and your staff, and to protect the integrity and professionalism of your pet care business. By setting boundaries and prioritizing your own well-being, you can create a positive and successful pet care business that benefits both you, your clients, and their pets.