Should You Fire Abusive Customers Or Just Suck It Up?

by Tim Jahn on July 13, 2010

When I was chatting with Michelle Riggen-Ransom from BatchBlue Software a few weeks ago, Michelle mentioned that her company would never write customers off unless they were being abusive to her customer experience team.

That seems pretty reasonable to me.  But there are a lot of folks who stand by the idea that the customer is always right.  That you should strive to keep the customer happy at all costs.  That the customer is the one keeping you in business, even if they’re being abusive to your staff and draining your resources.

When you’re a creative entrepreneur starting your business from the ground up, the first inclination is usually to get as many customers as possible.  The more customers you have, the more money you make.

Personally, I think it’s the right customers that are keeping you in business.  Customers that are lowering the morale of your staff and making them feel like crap aren’t keeping you in business.  The effects of their behavior will ripple throughout your company, as employees start becoming demotivated and don’t work to the best of their ability.

Michelle explained that a big reason her company doesn’t deal with abusive customers is because she wants her own staff to feel important and respected as well.  In other words, she doesn’t want to push her own employees’ happiness and well being aside in the name of keeping even the most abusive customers happy.

I couldn’t agree with her more.  If a customer is being verbally abusive to a member of your customer service team, are they really worth the business?

What do you think?  Should you get rid of abusive customers or just suck it up and keep’em happy?

(photo credit)

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