In the early days of my career, I thought the customer was always right. The idea that one should fire a customer sometimes would have sounded like madness to me. However, as I have matured over the following four decades, I learned that sometimes the customer is not right. Sometimes they are really, really wrong, from how they abuse your systems to how they tax your resources to how they talk to employees. You should fire customers in these cases.
This episode explores the situations where it is critical to fire employees and why. Inspired by the article “Firing a Bad Customer in 2021” by Fred Reichheld, prolific author on customer loyalty and inventor of the Net Promoter Score (NPS), we discuss why you should fire some customers, how you should attempt to manage the situation, and how to go about it once you decide that a customer needs to go.
Key Ideas to Improve your Customer Experience
It seems counterintuitive to tell a customer to beat it when you are in business. It seems like you should want every customer you can find, good, bad, or somewhere in between.
However, some customer relationships are not worth saving. Some cannot be fixed with credits and additional services. Moreover, these relationships often cost you the most in time and headache, and that use up valuable resources that could be spent in other areas. Here are some other key moments in the discussion.
- 04:46 Ryan explains the 80/20 rule and how it applies to customers.
- 06:25 Colin shares a personal experience about how loud customers are sometimes considered best customers, even when they are not.
- 12:25 Colin explains why he likes the rating systems on Uber.
- 15:13 The discussion turns to how difficult customer relationships can sometimes drain the life out of employees.
- 18:51 Colin explains a significant danger of paying too much attention to customers that don’t deserve it.
- 24:19 We share specific advice on how you should manage these customer situations to better outcomes and also the termination of the relationship, if it comes to that.
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Customer Experience Information & Resources
LinkedIn recognizes Colin Shaw as one of the ‘World’s Top 150 Business Influencers.’ As a result, he has 289,000 followers of his work. Shaw is Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC, which helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). The Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy LLC as one of the best management consultancies for the last two years. Follow Colin on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Click here to learn more about Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University.
Why Customers Buy: As an official “Influencer” on LinkedIn, Colin writes a regular newsletter on all things Customer Experience. Click here to join the other 22,000 subscribers.
Experience Health Check: You already have an experience, even if you weren’t deliberate about it. Our Experience Health Check can help you understand what you have today. Colin or one of our team can assess your digital or physical Customer Experience, interacting with your organization as a customer to define what is good and what needs improving. Then, they will provide a list of recommendations for critical next steps for your organization. Click here to learn more.
How can we help?
Click here to learn more about Beyond Philosophy’s Suite of Services.