Firing Your Worst Agency Clients

Your agency is lucky if you have yet to work with a client who deserves to be fired. But that is rare.

When you ignore bad client behavior, you are sending a clear message to your team – that revenue from one client is more important than the happiness of your employees. You are creating a vast employee retention risk.

Let’s see how to decide and then how to proceed.

How do you decide to Fire your worst agency clients?

Here are some of the problems you might face with your worst agency clients:
Broken client communications: You work on client projects but need more support or interest from them.

Unrealistic demands: This is a common situation. Some clients need to pay more attention to the original scope of work. They become aggressive to get their way.
They threaten you and your employees, Block payments.

No project support: You find yourself running in circles with this client. They veto all your ideas. But they never provide insight to move the project forward.

Poor anger management: Misbehaviour with you or your team member, bad temper attitude, None of these make a great client.

Late payments: No one likes constantly chasing invoices. Not to mention struggling with cash flow as a result. Although you can often overcome this challenge, some clients need better payers. And sometimes, it might make more sense to replace them.

Firing a Client While Practicing Warmth & Competence:

Once you’ve decided that firing the worst agency client is correct, you want it to go as smoothly as possible, follow these steps:

Pick up the phone: Don’t dismiss agency clients via email—a call conveys warmth and is more personal than an email.

Consider transit time: Ideally, give at least 30 days’ notice so the customer is safe.

Send a recap email: Reiterating what you discussed on the call. Remember to include the next step. Unless the client is unethical or abusive, we recommend helping them find a new agency. At the very least, this includes offering them some names to contact.

Stand firm: Once you decide to fire a client for a reason, stick to the decision. Flip-flopping shows your team that you lack courage—and that’s not good for employee retention.


Firing a client takes work. Such a business decision can carry heavy emotional weight. But at the same time, toxic customer relationships can affect your agency’s growth. Good luck!


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