I recently had a discussion with a small business owner about a difficult customer. The situation had arrived at a point where the customer was no longer worth the stress they were causing. In situations like this, and given that it’s impossible to tease your personal self apart from your business self, It’s important for small business owners to ask themselves how much hassle they’re going to take from a customer. We are entitled to enjoy our business lives and our customer interactions. When it’s no longer enjoyable, it needs to be ended.
I realize that we all grew up with the belief that ‘the customer is always right.” Well, the fact is that this is not necessarily so. In fact, some time ago the concept of firing customers was floated and numerous articles and books have been written about the topic. It has become a perfectly acceptable business practice to tell troublesome customers to: “Please just go away!”
If your screen printing shop has troublesome customers (and which screen shop has not had them from time-to-time?) search ‘firing customers’ on Google. It will be worth your while. It might even prompt you to re-think your entire customer base in terms of who is profitable for you and who is actually not after you factor in all the hassles, late payments, complaints, and rudeness.
The one thing that comes through in most of the material written on the topic is that while firing a customer is counter-intuitive, once taken, the decision can be enormously beneficial—in both a business and an emotional sense.