Firing Your customer?

24 replies
Please discuss your thoughts and experiences.
#customer #firing
  • Profile picture of the author BrainCopy
    I have never really fired a customer before. I have had many issues with them, but the end result was never firing them. I usually always try to reason with the customer.
    Can you give a scenario?
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  • Profile picture of the author kiopa
    Lots of times. It's just how it goes when running a business. Sometimes, even when you have a 30 money back guarantee, then offer a full refund 50 days after purchase to please the customer, they'll still complain to no end about whatever they're angry about.

    Sometimes you can bend over backwards, and there's still no winning.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jimian
    Yeah, Perry Marshall (AdWords guru) wrote an article about firing one of his customers and refunding him because he wasn't worth the hassle. Said he wouldn't follow instructions, use the coupons provided, wait his turn, call him all hours... a real pain in the a**, etc.

    OFFLINE Marketing Strategies For The OFFLINE Warrior
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    I have fired my share. When customers act like they are your boss and start demanding things it's time for your relationship with them to end.

    It's very rare but some people change into monsters the second they transfer money to you. I transfer it right back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamian
    Reminds me of:

    I can't give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give
    you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the
    Affiliate Marketing explained for beginners >> <<
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  • Profile picture of the author mporgsoft
    I have fired customers before they even send the money and became a customer. Ever get those emails where if only they had read the first or second line of your ad they would know the answer to the question they asked? Which is funny because they had to go through all that info before finding the email address for support/questions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Curt7
    I love to help people, but if they become a nuisance, I sever the relationship. Life's too short for the hassle.
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  • Profile picture of the author donb01
    I hate to say but I have fired many customers online and off some people just cost too much to do business with so we need to just let the competition have them if we cannot train them
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Russell
    Yep - done it before. There are some people out there that just aren't reasonable, and it never ceases to amaze me how hostile people can be when there isn't face-to-face contact. Definitely in my better interest to let them go and not worry about them anymore.
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    • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
      It's just par for the course.

      I even have the dubious honour of having had to fire the same customer twice!



      Easy email marketing automation without moving your lists.

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  • Profile picture of the author marketingva
    I fired a dozen clients earlier in my career. I've used that experience to turn people away after my first phone call with them. Lots of potential clients get upset when I tell them I won't work with them. I tell them that they deserve to have an assistant who adores them and loves to work with them and that isn't me.

    Magic Wand Author Services helps writers polish their manuscripts and connect to readers.

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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    Most of my customers are great, but there have been a few I have had to fire.

    After I fired them, I felt a huge feeling of relief.

    Never regretted it for a minute.

    I bend over backwards to please them first but with some people, there is no pleasing.

    Gone Fishing
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Even marriages made at altars before God break up. No different for
    business-client relationships.

    Sometimes customers cost becomes negative and you have to cut
    them to save your profits--monetary or emotional.

    -Ray Edwards
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Blaze
    Also had my fair share of customer firing!

    It really does depend on what your offering and what they purchased but buying a cheap ebook from you does not mean they then get hours and hours of email support with unrelated questions etc

    However i first off will inform them that the questions they have asked are unrelated to the product and so i cannot provide support for them and reffer them to somewhere else they can (either the forum or another product), then if thing's continue then it is a refund and a goodbye.

    Mark Blaze
    Aweber BONUS! <- Email Marketing At It's Best!
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

    Please discuss your thoughts and experiences.
    Relief. Feels good...

    *Like having a couple drinks on the porch at the end of a long day.

    *Like sleeping in fresh sheets.

    *Like walking into your AC'ed house after spending 20 sweaty minutes doing manual labor in Tucson. In July.

    More money. Because now you have more time to deal with other customers. Feels good...

    *Like winning the meat lottery on Saturday night at the bar.

    *Like finding $50 in your pants pocket that you forgot about.

    *Like balancing your checkbook wrong and realizing you have way more money than you thought.

    Yep, it's a good thing all the way around.

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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    I have fired a few customers. I used to sell medical equipment to seniors. I had a few that would call non-stop asking the same questions over and over again. I had one customer that bought from me and left over 200 voice mails in one weekend. That is no exaggeration!

    I have also fired customers for filing a chargeback and then buying again. I refunded their money and said no thanks.

    Founder of JVZoo. All around good guy :)

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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    OK you mean COSTomers, because they cost you money. Hey, not to mention that they love to bother you. Time is money, and with a COSTomer you will soon lose a lot of both and then some.

    Best solution is to put them on a list with their details and name. Makes life easier for the rest of us. They are often serial returners who will use your product only to return it months later and demand "their" money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shannon Herod
    I have definitely fired customers before. There is a time and a place that it needs to happen. Unfortunate but true.

    I once had a customer that was making ridiculous demands and then threatening to refund if I did not meet those demands.

    The funniest thing about the whole situation is the product was a $37 a month product.

    So I simply canceled his subscription and refunded him his $37 and told him to have a nice life.

    You hate doing it because every customer is valuable. But, there are some customers you just do not want to associate yourself with.

    Talk soon,

    Shannon Herod
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    • Profile picture of the author jdenc
      As someone who has had long term offline consultancy businesses I have had to let some go. I go by the 80/20 rule. 20% of your customers provide 80% of your business. Anyone outside of that 20% that becomes a drain on your time, money or emotional well being has to go. If they are in the 20 then it may be better to put up with it. But they rarely are.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lemints
    I draw the line with them by stating how it is from my perspective, followed by my intended course of action (firing), and ask them how they feel about it. Either they will work with you or let you go, but most importantly they will understand why. I also give them a recommendation on what they should do next and let them know that I am there to make the transition smooth for them. I hate ending on bad terms.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    I've only done it a couple of times lately ... when the customer just becomes a real "dick" to work with or is just too needy and time consuming, it's time to move on. Refund and cut loose.
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  • Profile picture of the author Justinfm
    I have fired clients on a few occasions (1 in 100), and I have also refused business or bid high to lose a project when I didn't think it was going to be a good match.

    The odd thing about this, is I use a gut check to decide if I should fire someone. In other words, I just take a gut instinct about how I feel the transaction is going to go. If I have a very bad feeling, I don't do the deal. This is regardless of the facts in the situation.

    My old system was to raise my bid, to help with unforeseen costs of doing business. What I found out is that their is no amount of money. Some people will take 2-3 times or 10 times the amount of energy of someone else. You are better to cut them loose and get started on the next project.

    Also, you shouldn't get all high and mighty that this is strictly an issue with a customer. It could be that you and the customer just aren't a good match. Some people don't communicate well with each other. They may find someone new who works great with them.

    The foundational principle behind this is to go for Win-Win or no deal. Sometimes as business people we are taught things like, "The customer is always right." This leads us to believe it's OK to go for a lose-win deal (we lose, the client wins). I would argue that this is not worth it. More often than not the client will keep asking more and more until you get fed up with it, and then they won't get what they want and you won't get what you want, and everyone loses. Either way, it's perfectly reasonable to go for win-win or no deal. Find those situations where you will both benefit and let the other ones go.

    One last note on this. The earlier you do it the better it will go. Firing a client when you have both invested a lot of time and/or money, is much more painful and may lead to legal issues. Firing a client quickly, when you realize they're not a good match, or even preventing the client from starting work with you, will be much less likely to hurt the relationship and will make you look like more of a professional.

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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Thorsett
    One of the little-known secrets of business success is knowing which customers to fire, and when (sooner, rather than later).
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  • Profile picture of the author svandoren
    yes we have had to do this a couple of times. If you try to make them happy that rarely works, if they are a complainer they always will be in most situations. What we have done is try to redirect them to a competitor that may be willing to work with them. At that time what ever they were unhappy about we would try to make it into the best situation potable and hope they leave with a little understanding and not bad mouth you when they leave.
    Now this depends on what kind of business you have it may not mater what that person thinks. But if a retail bus. then need damage control no mater what size you are. Good luck!
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