There has been a lot of talk about this around the web – but Seth Godin’s post causes me to remark.
In his post Seth asks what would happen if you politely fired your worst customers?
I did this once. We were a fast growing consulting business and we decided to review the profitability of each client. Without exception the most difficult clients were the least profitable ones. They also tended to be small.
Not only were they not profitable, but they tended to be rude and unpredictable – very hard on the client engagement teams. We valued our people more than a few unprofitable clients, so we fired them.
Well, we didn’t exactly fire them, but gave them three options.
- Work with us according to the scope of our agreement AND be nice to our people
- Pay us 2 to 3 x what you are paying now
- We will gladly assist you in finding a new provider.
Two changed their ways and 5 others left. It made a HUGE positive impact on our staff, and helped profitability. The staff impact really helped us because it showed that we care about them.