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posted by martyb on Saturday February 15 2020, @07:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the the-pecking-order-stops-here dept.

Modern Machine Shop ran an interesting piece recently under the title, "Why Is It Okay to Fire a Customer?" https://www.mmsonline.com/blog/post/why-is-it-okay-to-fire-a-customer. Here are a few clippings for your interest:

We work overtime to meet the demands of our customers and rightly so. Our success depends on our reputation and repeat business. So much so that going the extra mile in communication and delivery has effectively become the new baseline for good customer service for successful businesses.

This is all well and good. I'm proud of our industry's efforts to elevate the standard through innovation and technology, and it's working. Even so, elevated standards mean bigger risks for customers and suppliers alike, making the century-old saying of "the customer is always right" somewhat of an overstatement. What was once sealed with a handshake is now enforced by contracts and documents written to protect all involved parties.

[...] In my 26 years of leading Pioneer Service [CNC machine shop], I've had the unfortunate but necessary task of firing exactly two customers. The common thread between them was a deal-breaking level of disrespect. They directed accusatory and demeaning language to multiple members of my team, and they were unapologetic repeat offenders. Firing them [customers] was considered only after taking every reasonable measure (and perhaps a few less reasonable ones) to make them happy.

Thankfully, this is an extreme minority of customers. I will never enjoy firing anyone, employee or customer, but I have yet to regret standing up for a member of my team.

[...] Just before firing one of the two offending customers, I approached the employee who had been that customer's favorite target. I'll call him Dave. My goal was simply to reassure Dave that he'd done nothing wrong. Dave was shocked, didn't want me to fire the customer and tried to dismiss the rude behavior. My explanation to him was the same phrase I say to all of my employees: "You've got my back; I've got your back.

Anyone work for a boss/owner like this?

 


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday February 15 2020, @01:59PM (1 child)

    I occasionally am a boss like that. Unless you've got a very small customer pool, losing a good employee is a lot tougher on the business than losing a bad customer.

    They have to be a good employee though. An average employee that the job is just a job to and who doesn't give a shit if the company does well or not? I generally fire them (Not for cause. They're welcome to draw unemployment.) as soon as I can find someone who looks like they will be a good employee, whether they're a source of friction with a customer or not.

    Good employees can quite literally be worth their weight in gold but average ones are only worth the time it takes to find better.

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  • (Score: 2) by Booga1 on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:11PM

    by Booga1 (6333) on Saturday February 15 2020, @02:11PM (#958500)

    Understandable, and a balance can be hard to find in some situations. My position was "tier 3" tech support, end of the line. We were all the best troubleshooters you could get, so it was incredibly rare that an employee was fired.
    When we did fire someone it was almost always because the employee lost their cool and ended up being rude to the customer.