How to Fire a Customer

Submitted 5/23/2013 by Kaloyan Georgiev


We've all had this experience while running our own business - a customer which just makes us hate our job. You know at least one - he/she thinks that by buying your product the buy you too, or if they hire you - you owe them your life and you have to do everything they say, which most of the times isn't even related to what they hire you for. While it is a good thing to try to satisfy the customer, that doesn't mean you have to satisfy their every single need. It's unhealthy for you and your business. So, this customer needs to be fired. How to do this in the most delicate way? Here's how:

1. Announce new pricing - one of the nicest way to make the customer take the decision to stop working with you by itself - tell him you have new prices now. And they are much higher. Much, much higher. Why? Well, because your resources increased in price, the amount of work you do is twice bigger than in the beginning, because this is the new policy of the company - there are many excuses. The thing here is to announce a price which is 2-3 times bigger than the initial. If the customer finds this too much - he will quit, if not - you will at least get bigger payment for the hard time he gives you. If you still don't want him onboard - announce a price which you know he won't accept.

2. Show him another alternative - when firing a customer it is always nice to find another alternative for him, since you are a nice guy. Introduce other companies to him. If you have a friend which can do the job and doesn't mind an irritating customer, that's perfect. Arrange a meeting between them and you will have a thankful friend and a thankful customer.

3. Don't close the door - keep in mind that the business is a thing that changes rapidly and never stays the same, so when you fire a client, try to leave the door open and never leave them on bad terms. Keep in mind that in a time you might need the help of this bad customer, or he/she can be friends with one of your best customers. The possibilities are many. Be nice.