How To Fire A Bad Customer

Trump You're Fired

Note: This post was originally published on OPEN Forum.

Firing a customer may seem like a daunting proposition in this economy. But, sometimes, it has to be done.

“A single bad customer can practically destroy a business,” says Ken Gaebler, a small-business expert and head of Gaebler Ventures in Chicago.  

According to Gaebler, the wrong customer can lead to everything from employee resignations to declining profits.

What exactly constitutes a bad customer? That depends on your business. It can mean someone who simply isn’t profitable, demanding more time than is cost-effective. But it also might include a customer who consistently pays late, is never satisfied, requires too much hand-holding, or is downright verbally abusive.

Here’s what to do.

Figure out if there's another option

Watch your timing

Dial down on the antagonism

Take it slow, if possible

Decide whether it means something bigger

If you continue to attract bad customers, there could be an underlying problem with the business.

That could range from pricing that's too low to poorly constructed contracts. In that case, you'll need to attack the deeper issue.

Learn the red flags beforehand

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