Business owners – know when to give up on customers?

I wrote on Monday about how to complain effectively as a consumer when we’re dealing with a business that we feel has let us down in some way.

In our dealings with businesses, we probably always have in the backs of our mind that we are dealing with someone who should be living by the motto “the customer is always right”.

But is that always the case? This article that I found bookmarked from last year says it’s now – that there are times when a business should consider firing customers.

  • Be professional. “Customers should always be spoken to personally, not by letter or phone. Only when the customer is at a distance, is it appropriate to speak with them about the matter on the telephone. But in no circumstances should the contact be other than verbal. E-mails simply will not do in this case.”
  • Keep emotions out of it. Odds are the customer made you extremely frustrated or angry, but now is not the time to vent. Customers often will take being fired personally, “so it is important that you explain your reasons rationally and clearly.”
  • Offer suggestions. Remember after you have fired them, customers will still need someone to provide the product or perform the service you did. Help them if you can.
  • “Stay polite but firm. It is time to move on.”

Have you ever felt that a company has fired you as a customer?

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One Response to Business owners – know when to give up on customers?

  1. Leon April 8, 2010 at 13:52 #

    A subject close to my heart! “The customer is always right” saying is totally stupid these days and was probably never wise. To say that ignorant, demanding, non-paying customers are right is ridiculous in the extreme.

    You do need to be professional and not personal though. My tip for avoiding saying the wrong thing in the heat of the moment is to just wait a while. Do nothing unless you can do it with a clear, calm head.

    With regard to helping the client find another company after you fire them, you should yes but also warn the new company that the customer might be difficult otherwise you’ll make enemies of peer businesses!

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