February 7, 2012

Insatiable, Abusive Customers Need to be Fired!

By Patrick Mahan

Taking care of customers and providing them with world-class service is the lifeblood of your business. If you take care of your customers, then they will take care of you.

But what happens when a customer pushes the limits? Is there ever a time when it’s okay to fire a customer?

I think the general rule of thumb to remember is “bend, but don’t break.”

You should always bend over backwards for your customers. There will be times when they make unreasonable requests, but that’s all part of the deal. You should do everything in your power to make them happy. That is what exceeding expectations is all about.

And for the most part, when you go the extra mile for a customer, they will recognize that and reward you with repeat business and hopefully some referrals.

But no matter how hard you try to please everyone, some people are just never satisfied. They are insatiable. They push the limits and always want more. They want a better deal, better service, better price.  It’s all about them and “What else can you do for me?”  And if you don’t do it, then they threaten to leave. Or not pay.

When you come across a person like this, someone who drains your energy, tests your patience and makes you wish you had never gone into business... you have to step back and evaluate the relationship.  Ask yourself if this person is worth the headache.

Are they draining your time, energy and resources to a point where it’s negatively affecting your other clients? Do they call you and email you constantly with complaints? Do they continually beat you up over your price?  Are they abusive to your employees?

If so, it may be time to “fire” this customer.  Here are two words to remember when making this decision: Abusive and Insatiable.

Customers who are abusive and insatiable need to go. And don’t worry. They’ll find some other poor soul to latch on to.  Let them become a distraction for your competitor. Let them deal with the headaches and low profit margins while you focus on serving the loyal customers who appreciate your efforts.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever wanted to fire a customer or client? Did you do it? What was the result?

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