Firing Customers


I am a huge advocate of customer service and going above and beyond.  Sometimes you find yourself in a situation with a client that you continually have to extend yourself, employees, products, and even lose profit.  When this happens to you time and time again with the same client, you need to ask yourself the question if the business is worth it?  This does not mean that you fly off the handle and tell the client to take a hike.  Take necessary steps to carefully evaluate the situation, and if that doesn’t work end the business relationship.

Set a meeting to discuss the challenges and see if there is a way to resolve the issues.  Sometimes the client will not see your point and tell you that they will find someone else.  Many times the client will recognize the effort you have put into their business and work out an agreement.  It does not always mean there is a price increase but perhaps just an understanding of your needs to fulfill the agreement.  Customers do not need to know all that goes into your business however they do need to know how to do business with partners.

Outline a game plan.  If the client is willing to work with you put a plan in writing.  This may be a new proposal or a SOP (standard operation procedure).  When you are writing the game plan include everyone in the plan that contributes to issues at hand.  You may realize during the plan that there is something you need to do or stop doing.  Sometimes we think we are doing things for a client to help them but instead we have done something they do not need or recreated something they already had.

If there is no resolution, thank the client for their business and if you are in a contract fulfill the needs as promised.  If a client cannot come to terms that you need to efficiently run their account it will end up hurting your other business.  You never want to create a bad relationship but you also do not want to create a relationship that is one sided.  Business is business and it needs to mutually beneficial whether you are a buyer or seller.  Sometimes you will have to lose in order to satisfy an order but this should not be a reoccurring case.

It’s sometimes okay to say no to customers on occasions and sometimes even better to end the relationship.  Carefully evaluate the account and exhaust all options but if you are continually spinning your wheels with a client that is costing you more in time and money there is a problem.


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