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Sure, it sounds completely crazy – especially in the midst of one of the biggest economic downturns in world history. But one of the smartest moves you can make to survive and thrive during any business cycles, including a deep recession, is to get rid of some customers and clients.
Have you ever fired an employee because they were goofing off on the job or wasting valuable company time by doing personal business while they supposed to on the clock earning their salary? If so, you know how important it is to jettison the dead weight that is holding your business back from success. And of course if you have not actually had to lay off an employee, at least you can easily understand the logic and reasoning behind that kind of decision. Nobody can afford to run a company – not matter how big or small it happens to be – if the employees are just showing up at work to chit-chat, play on their computers, and spend precious hours sending text messages to friends.
Okay now here's the crux of the argument for ditching customers. If they are basically doing the same thing – that is, they are showing up at your place of business in person, calling on the phone, or sending emails to just do nothing but waste the time of your valuable employees, they are not quality clients. You need to get rid of them because the time you waste on them is time that is being taken away from customer service directed to your truly valued customers – the ones who are spending money and keeping your business afloat.
What you do is analyze which customers are contributing to your monthly revenues. Also identify any who spend an unusual amount of time complaining or negotiating or otherwise taking up the time and energy of your staff for issues that are not really legitimate. You know the ones – those who constantly shop and browse but never commit to a purchase or the ones who buy but first complain about the price until they are blue in the face. Meanwhile perfectly good customers have to wait in line, and that is bad for your business and your reputation.
Be nice about it. Take them off your mailing list, and when they call or email put them on the back burner and let them wait while you attend to your better clients. Instruct your staff not to spend an inordinate amount of time with them. Soon they'll get the message and go waste the time of your competitor while you get back to the core business of great customer service to great customers.