Are bad customers bringing you down? Are you spending a disproportionate amount of your time and resources trying to meet their unreasonable demands? You wouldn't be the first. That doesn't mean you have to put up with them, though. Instead, you could fire them.
Of course, telling them that you wish to part ways requires care and delicacy. Or, you could simply throw all your tact out the window...
I am writing this letter to formally announce that our relationship is over. We no longer want you as our customer. It’s not that we don’t like your money; it’s just that it comes with so many strings attached.
Sorry, but you are quite literally not worth the hassle.
I’m trying to put a on finger on the exact moment when we decided that we would be better off without you. It might be your HUNDREDS of calls to our Support team, where we have to discuss the same tiny issues over and over again, even long after they were resolved. It could be because of the fury in your daily emails, in which you constantly shift the goalposts as to what can satisfy you. It could well be because poor Bernard in Accounts has been reduced to tears having to constantly chase your payments. And he used to be in the Marines, you know. All this while retaining the special-introductory-tiny-margin contract we negotiated all those years ago. Yet here you are, demanding a Michelin-star meal when you’re paying for a Toby Carvery.
Perhaps you want us to install a Bat Phone that lets you take priority over our hundreds of other customers? To extend you credit when you don’t feel like paying your bills? Maybe you want us to set up a little room in the cupboard under your stairs so you can have a live-in IT technician to perform your troubleshooting 24/7? Sorry, Uncle Dursley – this isn't Harry Potter and it's not going to happen.
You might consider yourself a squeaky wheel, but you’ve seen enough oil to drown a seagull. To me, you are more like a flat tyre. And like that tyre, you need to be changed.
We don’t think any relationship is healthy when the Customer Service department shriek when the phone rings or spill their coffee when their email pings. They’re frightened that it could be you. They’re terrified that losing you as a customer could cost them their job.
However, I don’t think those who have to manage you deserve the boot. It’s you. Your constant and vocal dissatisfaction isn’t just emotionally draining for my hardworking team, it is financially unsustainable. Keeping you happy costs MORE than any profit we get from you.
So, perhaps you can start to see the situation from my perspective. My staff have LESS time to give to those respectful customers with legitimate problems. They have LESS time to nurture the clients who bring a better margin to the business, or acquiring new ones with the potential to be loyal and profitable. Essentially, we're losing money by keeping you as a customer and last time I checked, that wasn’t a very good business model.
Before you take this too personally, bear in mind that you aren’t the only customer receiving a letter like this. In fact, there quite a few customers like you, whom we are also planning to get shot of.
True, those who are left will be a minority – but they also happen to generate far more income for us than four times as many squeaky wheels. That’s the old 80/20 rule for you.
I do wish you the best for the future without us, and that you find a company that can better suit your ever-changing needs. One that can treat you as fairly as you treat them.
Until that day, as Lord Alan Sugar might say: “Fair? The only fair you’re gonna get is your bloody train fare home.” Also, you’re fired.
All the best,
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