How do you deal with “bad” customers?

All businesses have “good” customers and “bad” customers. We like to call “bad” customers the “undesirable” customers. You don’t mind losing them because they do not contribute much to your bottom line. In fact, they usually drain too much time, energy and money from you and your business either directly or indirectly. We showed how you can identify these “undesirable” customers in the previous post here.
As a business owner you do have a choice as to who you want as a customer. However, you don’t want to be seen as rude when dealing with these customers, even though at times you may feel compelled to do so. You have to figure out a subtle approach that gets the job done, while at the same time doesn’t appear rude.

The best approach to deal with “undesirable” customers is to draw a line in the sand and ensure you don’t expend too much time, energy and money towards them. Even if they leave your business as a result you are going to be OK because you don’t mind losing them in the first place. Below we have identified several tactical approaches to deal with this type of customers. Feel free to add observations and input from your personal experience – both as a business owner and customer.

  • Draw a line in the sand
    As we mentioned in earlier post these customers stretch the rules to the limit to get what they want while paying you minimum. You have to learn to say “NO” to them. If they want to use multiple coupons, politely refuse them pointing them to the business policy. Just remember – you don’t have to fulfill every single customer request.
  • Do not devote too much time and energy
    While you do want to ensure that every customer is served with great attention, it’s OK to put a stop somewhere with these types of customers. Otherwise they will go on forever if you continue to pay full attention to them. You should apply the principle of “You get what you pay for” in this situation.
  • Don’t fret much about their complaints
    I know, we mentioned earlier that you have to take customer complaints seriously and take appropriate actions to remedy them. However, in this case we will make an exception. The “undesirable” customers like to complain all the time. You can never satisfy them no matter how hard you try. That’s why you should politely ask them to fill out an “official” complaint form and move on rather than trying to answer every single complaint and question.
  • Document all transactions with them
    In some cases, we have come across situations where this type of customers will take their case to the next level either by complaining with the franchise office or even filing a lawsuit. That’s why you want to document your interactions with them to ensure that you can back up your case with evidence.

What has your experience been in this type of situations? How do you deal with them?

Image Courtesy:   48066826@N02