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When Itís Time to Fire a Customer

 

by Glenn Shepard
June 30, 2015
Category:  Customer Service

   



   
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Dear Glenn,

How young of an age do you think a child would be able to read and understand the book you recommended (Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not)?

Vance in Hong Kong


Dear Vance,

Because the people who are the least qualified to give financial advice (i.e. Broke People) are the most insistent on giving it, I recommend getting your kids to read the book as soon as possible, to start them learning from someone who is highly qualified.
      Even if they pick up just one nugget, it can change their lives forever. Years ago, I paid my teenage nephew $100 to read and give me a book report on another of my favorites, "The Millionaire Next Door" by Tom Stanley.
      It apparently went in one ear and out the other, because he's a chronic spender now in his twenties and in more debt than Greece. But his younger brother, who was 9 at the time, picked up on it, became a saver, and paid $5,000 cash for his first car when he turned 16.
       Thanks for your question

- Glenn in Nashville, TN, USA

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Business is all about serving.

Who is supposed to serve whom is revealed by following the direction the money flows.

Employees must serve their company because their company pays them to do it. Companies must serve their customers because their customers pay them to do it.

But that doesnít mean you want everyone to be your customer.

One of my Priority Club members who works in healthcare recently told me they had to ďfireĒ a patient because he missed numerous appointments, yelled at her staff when he finally did show up, and didnít pay after he was treated.

This unfortunately happens in every industry, and is especially dangerous when a small business owner is scared to offend a customer. These folks miss two basic facts of business:

1. Customers are not customers until they pay.

2. Even when they do, you canít make all the people happy all the time.

In order to succeed in business, you must have clarity of purpose.

The purpose of a for-profit business is not to serve everyone, and itís certainly not to try to make all the people happy all the time.

The purpose of a for-profit business is to make a profit, which is done by serving its customers. The more successful a business is at serving, the more successful it will be at making a profit.

But some customers are so hard to please that even the greatest service in the world wonít make them happy. While it might sound admirable that a company tries, itís a very expensive exercise in futility.

The company will lose far more than the time, revenue, and frustration the customer consumes. The problem customer will also distract the company from serving other customers.

As Iíve said in countless seminars, a High Maintenance Employee whoís good at what they do but sucks up too much of your time and energy is not a good employee; heís only a good worker. In order to be a good employee, he has to be good at what he does, and be reasonably easy to manage.

By the same token, a customer that sucks up so much of your time, energy, and other resources that they cause you to lose money is not a customer.

He's a liability, and profitable businesses have to reduce liabilities as much as possible.


To Your Success,




P.S. The part about employees serving their companies comes as a surprise to many job applicants, who think the company should serve them. Managers whoíve attended my seminars from California to New York tell me about entitlement-minded job applicants who come to an interview with a list of demands, from getting off early for hot yoga to expecting six weeks paid vacation after working for three months.


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