It’s commonly accepted that a customer is the most valuable asset a business has. It’s very likely you know this and live by this belief. It’s extremely challenging to find customers, which is why you work hard to keep them happy.
But have you ever wondered if you need to fire a customer?
Firing a customer is a serious and unusual experience for any business. You try very hard to keep the customers you have. What would make you fire one? That’s what we’re here to discuss.
Sometimes firing the customer is the right decision for your business. Your business runs by providing great products and services for customers, and in return, they compensate you. Customers may also provide you with greater benefits such as increased brand awareness or social media engagement.
There are cases where you may find that the customer is hurting the business. Working with them affects you and your people in a negative way. In such cases, the best course of action is to fire your customer. Here, we’ll explore different situations where this becomes necessary.
They Are Your Smallest Source of Income
The 80/20 principle, also called Pareto’s Law, says that in many events, 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. This principle is very helpful when you need to think about firing a customer.
It’s very likely that 80% or the majority of your income comes from 20% or a handful of your customers. Since they are the most important sources of your income, you’re better off paying the most attention to them. It’s a waste of resources and effort to spend too much time on customers who contribute the least towards your business’s income. It may even be better to fire them since you’ll divert your resources to more useful activities.
Another way to apply this principle is to find out if there are specific customers who are causing the majority of the problems in your business. They may be extremely difficult to deal with or require too many customizations and changes.
Look over the resources your company is using on a customer and the state of your employees’ morale. It’s not a good sign if you are draining your resources to keep a single customer happy. If your support staff are spending most of their time on certain customers who never seem to be satisfied, then firing these customers can be better for your business.
Using Pareto’s Law can be a helpful guide for you to determine if your customers are keeping your business healthy or not.
It’s a Bad Product-Customer Fit
Sometimes a customer is just not a great fit for what you have to offer. Working with a customer who isn’t right for your business can be costly and time-consuming.
For example, if you’re a developer who can boost a site’s speed and performance, but the customer needs content marketing, then you’re not a great fit. It’s not a good idea to force your solutions to fit a customer’s requirements.
The number of customers you have is not the only important thing. It’s also important to make sure that the solutions you provide meet the problems customers have. This is why it’s important to understand your customer well. You can learn more about your customers by adding analytics to your blog to understand who your visitors are and what they are looking for.
You know your customer may not be a great fit if they are constantly asking for changes or never seems to be happy. Especially when most of your other customers don’t have the same issues.
Your business will benefit from firing them. It also enables your customers to find another provider who is better for them. You can also prevent similar problems in the future by setting clear expectations ahead of time.
They Disregard Your Advice
When working for a customer, your goal is to help them get what they want. However, it’s important to remember that you are the expert.
If a client ignores your advice or insists on working in a way that you know is wrong, then it would be better to fire the client.
This is because you run the risk of hurting your reputation. Your solutions and products reflect what your brand is all about. If a client won’t allow you to work according to best standards and practices, or if they misuse your products, they can hurt your business.
It can also impact your business negatively if something goes wrong. It’s very possible that the client may end up blaming you. It is worthwhile firing a client if they disregard your expert advice.
They Abuse Your Policies or Employees
It’s quite likely that you’ll deal with disgruntled or unsatisfied customers. Most of the time, it’s worth making the extra effort to fix their problems and keep them happy. However, there’s never a good reason to put up with abusive behavior.
It’s a good call for your business to fire customers who treat your staff disrespectfully by using abusive or inappropriate language. You’ll show that you’re supporting and protecting your staff members and don’t tolerate bad behavior.
You may also have customers who take advantage of your business by misusing your policies. For example, you may offer people access to content on a membership site at a discount. A user who signs up on your site, downloads all the content and then leaves instead of subscribing is misusing your site’s policies.
Some clients may not respect your payment procedures. You can save your business time and money by removing such clients. You also ensure that your employees’ are happier by having them work with better customers.
Communication is vital to run things smoothly within a business as well as for managing outside relationships. Having a clear line of communication and getting responses from your customers is important to do your job well.
If customers take too long to reply or if their replies are unhelpful, you could lose and hours or days that could be used productively. This also builds uncertainty and a lack of trust. How will the customer communicate when it comes to important issues such as timely payments?
You’re better off and more productive by working with customers that communicate well.
Firing Your Customer May Serve Everyone
Firing a customer from your business is a rare and unusual situation. But it’s a good idea to know what to look for should such a situation arise.
When firing a customer, it’s important to ensure that there’s really no other option. You can reduce the possibility of a poor fit with your customer by defining the right customer profile for your business. Use CRM software to understand your current customers better. Add the best Google Analytics plugin for your site that helps you get insights into your site visitors. Learning who your customers are helps you create the right product and build good relationships.
When you do fire your customer, do so in a tactful manner. In some cases, there won’t be any need to burn bridges. Make sure that a person from your business with seniority and experience plays a key role in parting ways. Try to help your customers by referring them to other businesses.
By recognizing when you need to fire your customer, you’ll be able to take the right steps. You’ll help your business grow and you’ll give your employees a better work-life.