There are good customers and BAD customers.
Most bad customers:
– Don’t Pay On-Time (Or Ever)
– Don’t Pay Enough (Or Don’t Want To Pay)
– Have Unclear or Changing Demands
– Want ALL the Attention
– Aren’t Available
– Aren’t Honest
– Are Abusive or Threaten Your Staff
– Make Unreasonable Demands
– Complain to Anyone Who Will Listen
– Don’t Listen to You
How to assess their “Bad” value?
The costs of customer acquisition are certainly higher than the costs of customer retention. So the question you need to ask is, “What is the value of keeping this customer?”
Here are some key things to consider:
Their cost versus their profit. Here’s where you’re going to want solid data. Strong ticketing systems can easily pull up useful metrics like how many tickets a customer generates, how many touchpoints are required, and their invoice history. If they’re costing you more than you’re paying, that’s a red flag.
If your bad customer is a high-profile customer, then they may be worth the headaches they cause. Make sure you’re ready to deal with any loss of prestige or social media consequences.
What are the consequences of losing this client? You may be in a situation where the risk is too great.
The best defense is not to Acquire Bad Customers to Begin With!
As the list above suggests, many bad customer relationships stem from mismatches and poor communication and unclear expectations. So, you want customers who are a great fit.
Here are ways to attract better customers who admire your company:
Develop a detailed customer persona to help you identify your best customers.
Verify all marketing claims for accuracy on your website, blog, social media, and emails.
During the sales process, confirm there’s a real demand for your product or service. Just because someone seems like a good fit at first glance doesn’t mean they are ready to implement it, or even understand your value proposition.
Ensure all expectations and contracts are crystal-clear from the outset.
Don’t sign on new customers you can’t serve. As a business owner, it can be tempting to see any customer as a good customer.
Price your services appropriately. High-touch services generally require more financial investment from clients.
What to do with “Bad” customers?
Sometimes, a bad customer is just a bad fit for your business. In that case, one way to deal with them is to help them find a better fit. If you know your competition, you’re in a position to suggest someone else.
Sometimes the right answer is just to walk away.
Recognize and prune unfit customers before they harm your business!