Why you should fire your bad customers

August 8, 2020

I recently broke up with 2 customers.

They were a bad fit from the start - needy for excessive support over phone or WhatsApp, demanding discounts, and raising hell at the slightest hiccup.

fire bad customers break up with them
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Trying to make every customer happy will make you unhappy

Past me didn’t want to lose any potential paying customer. Or have a dissatisfied customer who might go write a negative review because I didn’t provide what they demanded.

At that time during the early days, it felt like the right thing to do.

Present me knows that bad customers add more pain than value to your business, both in the short term and in the long term. There is no need to appease them.

A friend of mine serviced an early user of his app during the early days with free customisations. That same user came back asking for more custom features, while being on the FREE plan, and threatened to write a 1 star review if they didn't.

These are toxic customers. If you couldn't say no to them in the past, do it now.

Just like you cut out people from your life who are a sap and drain you without giving you much in return, do the same with customers of your business once you have enough customers.

Fire them.

When to fire your customer

You don’t have to proactively reach out to all the bad customers using your app and get rid of them right away.

The ideal situation is when they come to you and subject you to the same ridiculousness that past you felt okay to deal with.

Only this time, don’t give in to their complaints or demands or whining. 

How to fire your customer the right way

I know I said fire your customers. That doesn’t mean you need to start a fight with them.

Talk politely like your usual self, only explain to them directly as if you’re giving radically candid feedback to a woke adult

Here are some sample scripts on firing customers.

“Hey, look this request you made is not feasible. In the past we have done a lot of work for you out of goodwill. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to service you any longer.”

“I understand that I answered your queries over call a few times, but that was only out of my eagerness to help you. I cannot continue to do that, and I request you to reach out through the available support channels.”

It’s not me, it’s you.

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