I, for starters, do not mean to be negative. But the reality is; there are customers who simply are not right for your business. We live in an age where the customer is glorified, and in return, few of us take a moment to ask was it worth it? The market simply tells us that the more the customers, the better your business model and the more the revenue. Today, I hope to convince you otherwise. A customer can be actually really bad for your business and knowing how to handle them is really important.

I am sure you are all familiar with the phrase ‘the customer is always right’. This phrase was coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge (funny name if you ask me) in 1909. And it was mainly used to tell the customers that they will get a good service there and also used to motivate employees to give good services to the customers.

One of the hardest things to do is to turn away a customer especially when its a start up. Knowing who to keep and who to let go of is crucial. Here are some of the things you should watch out for:

Lack of Respect and dignity

Every customer is entitled to respect and dignity but what happens if they are constantly looking down on your employees and making snarky remarks all the time? If a customer does not respect your employee (remember an employee is an extended version of yourself and the business) then you should by all means talk to the customer. If they don’t change, let them go. Of course, we all have difficult customers however there is only so much one can take especially your employees.

Unreasonable customers

These are the type of customers who expect results there and then despite you explaining that the process takes time. Trust me on this, fire them! You do not want a parade of customers demanding for unattainable results within the first week of you offering your services. Of course this depends on what kind of service and product you are offering.

Scare tactics

This we can thank internet and social media for. There are customers who will try to scare you into giving in to their demands lest they go on social media and complain about the service that they received. Do not let yourself be bullied by such a customer.

Instead, thank them for taking their time and politely inform them that you will no longer be able to cater to their needs. If you give in to one customer who has unreasonable demands, chances are high you will do that for several more customers and in return your business will suffer.

The procrastinating payer

We all have that customer who always wants the free stuff and never pays for anything. At first, it is all harmless, but after some time it gets irritating and bothersome. Do not feel embarrassed to fire away such a customer and set boundaries.

Let them know that this is a business and as such there is a give and take transaction, not just take and take. It might be a little daunting but as you get the hang of it, it gets easier. Protect your business at all costs!

The Know-It-All Customer

This is the kind of customer that likes to believe that they are always right.
A customer-centric culture is critical. However, the customer isn’t always right. The customer can really be wrong and instead of attacking your employees, be straight with your customers. Put the customer second and your employees first. this will in return make the employee do the following:

They will care about other people including your customers.

Have more energy since they know you care about them.

Become more happy and motivated. This means a higher level of job satisfaction, better customer care and thus bringing in more revenue for your business.


Getting rid of customers who do not serve your business isn’t really necessarily a bad thing. It is okay to let them go especially if the cost of acquiring and retaining them affects a few parts of your business. Not everyone is right for you.

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