Getting Rid Of Worthless Customers Can Be Fun
Getting Rid Of Worthless Customers Can Be Fun Ask your employees to help vet client base
At Your Service
By HAL BECKER
Every time I speak for a company and their employees on sales or customer service I always here this statement, “Our industry or our business is a little bit different.” My answer is also always the same . “Every business is either for profit or non profit, you either sell a product or a service, your best customers spend the most amount of money with you and your worst customers nickel and dime you to death.” Sound familiar...well it is and it will always be that way.
The funny thing is that when you truly go over board for a customer and do more for them then they are expecting, they will probably become one of your best and most loyal customers. I use to call this a “creative opportunity.” Our company goal was to look for problems and have fun correcting them, tying to blow the customer away with the best and the most unexpected service that they ever had. Everyone was truly empowered and we all had a good time trying to please the customer regardless of the problem. The only thing that was important was the outcome!
That is the good news. The bad news is that every company has one to three percent of it’s customer base that are just a royal pain in the neck. I mean abusive, rude, mean and always demanding unrealistic expectations. These are the customers that take up most of your time and can make the day unpleasant for everyone. In fact when you truly look at the total picture and get all the information regarding the client or customer, most of t he time the situation is unproductive and the client or customer costs you more money than you probably make. When you factor in all the time lost to hold their hand or to get screamed at and then look at what you pay your employees, the customer or client now doesn’t look so hot. So what do you do here? Remember the TV show form the 1930’s The Little Rascals, and the thing Spanky always did called the “high sign?” That’s right, the old see ya later.You probably figured out by now that I am talking about “86ing” the customer or just getting rid of them. I promise it will be fun and all the employees will rally for this cause.
I know what your saying...”But, Hal we just cannot afford to lose clients or to simply get rid of them, we will lose revenue.” Wake up and smell the cappuccino! The problem is not that you might lose revenue, instead you now will have more time to work on getting new clients and spending more time with the existing and fun ones you presently have.
This can be a big moral builder in your company and the bottom line is that this “client cleansing” will create much more enthusiasm and bring people together than any company picnic you have planned for this summer. This can be looked at as a game or even a team building exercise. You can ever go as far as asking your employees which customers would you like to get rid of if you can and why? Maybe make this an essay contest and the winner gets a beautiful dinner for two at an expensive restaurant. It will surprising make all of your employees take a long hard look at your customer base and bring th ings out you were never aware of.
Remember business should be fun and it is the employees that can make it a fun business. They (the employees) will always be your most important asset). Look at replacing clients as an event or a way to make your business better and more productive.
Rules to say goodbye to a client.
- Get all the facts and figures and look at the empirical data.
- Get senior management involved to get a better and stronger consensus.
- Do not let your emotion in the situation play a role, rely on logic (Gee, don’t I sound like Spock in Star Trek).
- Have fun doing this and look at the positives and not the negatives.
- Make sure that you have the new business in hand to replace this present customer.