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shulta
12-31-2006, 06:19 AM
Hello all
I received this email a couple of days ago but only decided to read it today.
I'd be keen to know what your thoughts are..


From: Perry Marshall
Date: 28-Dec-2006 19:53
Subject: Sometimes You've Just Gotta FIRE a Customer!
To: Anita Grant

Dear Anita
I just wanted to share this with you..

***Of all the emails I sent out in 2006, this one
generated the most passionate response. Seriously,
I must've gotten 500 replies, all kinds of stories...
tales of abuse and liberation. If you never saw this, enjoy it.

And if you did, enjoy it a second time. Because as you
begin 2007 I must remind you that some customers
deserve your time and attention. And... some do NOT.***

Anna,

Jack Welch, who led GE to blazing success,
had a rule: You gotta get rid of the bottom 10%
of your employees every year. Controversial,
but it obviously worked.

I say, the same applies to customers. The worst
of them are NOT worth it. And in today's we celebrate
the firing of one of MY customers. This one's a case
study in "jerk factor."

This guy (we'll call him "A") registered for the $95
application fee to come to the seminar but his
credit card didn't go through. Then when Jeremy contacted
"A" to straighten this out, "A" started demanding to be
given a whole bunch of information (almost all of which
was already on the sales letter BTW!) and then he
just got nasty:

"If the seminar isn't good or is just a sales
pitch or is a bunch of eager yahoos all running
forward to lick boots and ingratiate themselves
like whining curs, frankly I'd rather sit tight
where I am."

"I could deliver a two hours speech on AdWords
and 25% clickthru ratios in the toughest
industries out there at 5?/click."

"Your reticence to give me the information (basic:
schedule and accomodations) and eagerness to
whack my card non-refundable fees has me very,
very wary of your entire organisation at this
point. Most of the goodwill the the Definitive
Guide to Google AdWords created is down the drain."

Jeremy spent an entire week trying to be nice to this
guy. Which is really incredible considering the guy
apparently can't read - the application fee IS refundable,
and the details are on my site. But you have to
understand Jeremy, he's just about the nicest guy you
can find.

If Jeremy's sister calls him up on the phone and asks him
to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home, he'll say
"I love you, Abbey" before he hangs up. That's how
nice Jeremy is. I'm a nice guy too but I'm not THAT
nice. (Not to my sister anyway.)

Well all this was going on without my knowledge. But
when I saw his email ("eager Yahoo's all running forward
to lick boots...") I snapped.

I wrote him back:

"You are not invited to this seminar; all further
discussion about this is terminated and also
I am terminating your Renaissance Club Membership.
I will not tolerate having my employees being treated
the way you have been treating Jeremy, especially
when you refuse to pay. I am sorry for any
misunderstanding but I expect my members to use
good etiquette with our staff at all times."

End of discussion. People like "A" do not belong at
my seminar. They do not belong on my customer list.
They do not belong on YOUR customer list. We don't
need "A" to deliver a 2 hour speech on Adwords.
People like "A" need to be left to rot in their pool of misery
and not smear it all over us. They need to be fired.
They eat up time, resources and emotional energy
better devoted to customers who treat you and
your employees right.

Now here's the real point: YOU have customers like this too
(right?) and truth be told you can see 'em coming a mile
away. The only thing that makes them happy is
when they get their pound of flesh out of somebody.

I'm giving you permission to fire them. Get rid of
'em. Cancel their purchase order, give 'em their
money back, send 'em packing. Then give your
precious time and attention to another customer
who deserves it. The one who deserves it is
almost always less demanding and doesn't have
this nasty entitlement complex. And spends money
with you, with less resistance.

Here's a little secret: The best-paying customers
are also usually the ones that treat you with the most
respect. You get the best of both worlds, or the
worst. You decide. I don't care how much you
think you need the business, you don't want it
from "A". Get rid of him. He's easily replaced.

Make it your celebration today. Do it
before noon and celebrate at lunch time!

Happy Firing.

~~~

Have a blessed new year, one that is not clogged
up by whining, disrespectful, morale-destroying,
time-wasting customers. May your new year be spent
with people who deserve and appreciate the best
service you are capable of providing.

Perry Marshall

[/b]

Nimaya
12-31-2006, 06:33 AM
Hi Anita,
I'm not an entrepreneur or anything, but having worked in Customer Services, I know that there are some customers that do have to be terminated.
I don't think it should be a hasty decision and it hardly ever needs to be done in truth.
What we used to do where I worked was weigh up how much money they brought in against how much 'hassle' they were. It sounds horrible, but there are some customers who you try to do your best for and they are still not happy. And after a while, you get the distinct impression that they get joy out of causing misery to someone who 'has' to sit and take it.
It's not as simple as firing the lowest-paying 10% of your customers, but those who have a nasty attitude and just can't be assuaged despite your best genuine efforts.

Paula

Kamikak
12-31-2006, 08:35 AM
Shulta, I tend to agree and agree!

Some customers should be fired. They aren't really customers at all but people who have locked their radars onto a particular business or product and won't let go! Most difficult customers can never be satisfied by a business because you don't sell what would satisfy them, which is acquiessence and extra time on the phone or face-to-face to ease their loneliness. Difficult customers just want to be right and press your buttons. They should be fired. They are not productive and are killing your bottom line.

With regards to the bottom 10% of employees I also have to agree with this. Usually your bottom employees are in high turn over positions like customer service, call centers, security guards, etc. These entry level positions alone are not the bottom but the departments they are in. Oft times these positions are in departments where you will find employees who have no intention on staying with the company to grow and advance nor do they really embody the mission statement and help toward the "long term" goals of the company. The 10% that should be replaced are the cousins, aunts & uncles, and friends that got jobs on a whim due to the companies need during a busy season and because somebody they knew was a supervisor. Individuals who are not effectively producing and have no plans to. They usually work under ill-advised supervisors (I like to call them Muckety-Mucks) who for some unforeseen reason missed the first cut. They are like sludge at the bottom of the pond.

Now before anyone comes in to fire it up. Here's a little fire retardent for you. If you have ever worked in customer service or a call center or security for that fact these employees are easily recognizable. They are the ones that come to work with blankets and pillows because they say the AC is to high. They give attitude to the customers. They take 30 minute breaks when they should be taking 15. When they do take 15 they don't leave the floor and commence to disturbing and striking up conversation with the other workers still on the clock. They bang loud music in the parking lot like they are at the park. They come to work in a business environment with "club" gear on because they were out the night before. You say business wear and closed toed heels, they think dark denim pants and thong flip flop heels. You say khaki pants are acceptable they wear tan cargo pants with BeBe plastered on the butt, 3 layered t-shirts and again the thong flip flop heels. You know these employees who talk to supervisors like they are on their level. These employees and their Muckety Mucks should be replaced. :Angry:

BioChic
12-31-2006, 03:39 PM
^ I was rolling at Kamikak's decription of the 10% of employees because I now those people ... hell, i'm related to some of those people. But my employers were not fond of letting anyone go ... period.

blaqueskimo
12-31-2006, 08:44 PM
This article is VERY true! I was laughing when it said you can usually see them coming a mile away! What I find REALLY funny is when THEY don't seem to know you've already peeped their game!. But it's all love. I haven't had to fire anyone yet lol

shulta
01-01-2007, 08:13 AM
You all have raised some valid points here! Does anyone else have anything else to add, please?

Tiye
01-02-2007, 12:56 PM
Shulta, I tend to agree and agree!

Some customers should be fired. They aren't really customers at all but people who have locked their radars onto a particular business or product and won't let go! Most difficult customers can never be satisfied by a business because you don't sell what would satisfy them, which is acquiessence and extra time on the phone or face-to-face to ease their loneliness. Difficult customers just want to be right and press your buttons. They should be fired. They are not productive and are killing your bottom line.

With regards to the bottom 10% of employees I also have to agree with this. Usually your bottom employees are in high turn over positions like customer service, call centers, security guards, etc. These entry level positions alone are not the bottom but the departments they are in. Oft times these positions are in departments where you will find employees who have no intention on staying with the company to grow and advance nor do they really embody the mission statement and help toward the "long term" goals of the company. The 10% that should be replaced are the cousins, aunts & uncles, and friends that got jobs on a whim due to the companies need during a busy season and because somebody they knew was a supervisor. Individuals who are not effectively producing and have no plans to. They usually work under ill-advised supervisors (I like to call them Muckety-Mucks) who for some unforeseen reason missed the first cut. They are like sludge at the bottom of the pond.

Now before anyone comes in to fire it up. Here's a little fire retardent for you. If you have ever worked in customer service or a call center or security for that fact these employees are easily recognizable. They are the ones that come to work with blankets and pillows because they say the AC is to high. They give attitude to the customers. They take 30 minute breaks when they should be taking 15. When they do take 15 they don't leave the floor and commence to disturbing and striking up conversation with the other workers still on the clock. They bang loud music in the parking lot like they are at the park. They come to work in a business environment with "club" gear on because they were out the night before. You say business wear and closed toed heels, they think dark denim pants and thong flip flop heels. You say khaki pants are acceptable they wear tan cargo pants with BeBe plastered on the butt, 3 layered t-shirts and again the thong flip flop heels. You know these employees who talk to supervisors like they are on their level. These employees and their Muckety Mucks should be replaced. :Angry:
[/b]


I dunno. The "bottom 10%" of employees theory sounds controversial. Assuming that people of color worked for GE in any substantial numbers (I have no idea) how did their numbers reflect in the percentage of people laid off each year and how many deadbeat personal friends of higher ups got to stay on. I know people who do all the stuff highlighted above - and many of them are still working for the same place after 10-20-30 years. They know the work and they get the products out the door on time each year, the company's still in business which isn't any small thing in today's economy so that's what counts. Maybe its coz this is a small town and there aren't as many options for employees or employers. The people who make a show of dressing right and playing by the rules may actually be window dressing who don't know their jobs and they're always on the lookout for better paying jobs so they'll probably be gone in a year or less. Just my 2.5 cents.

I do agree there are customers you have to let go. Some people are on the prowl looking for small businesses to take advantage of. These are people you don't want to deal with.

Kamikak
01-02-2007, 03:19 PM
I know people who do all the stuff highlighted above - and many of them are still working for the same place after 10-20-30 years. They know the work and they get the products out the door on time each year, the company's still in business which isn't any small thing in today's economy so that's what counts. [/b]True, but the people I described are NOT producing. They are hindering production through idleness, unprofessional distractions, and being unproductive through mis-management of their at-work time. They are also causing customer loss because they are rude to the customers and don't know the product. In customer service it doesn't matter if you know the product if you are not on the phones or at your desk when you are needed. They are also turning customers away who expect employees to be dressed appropriately when they are being serviced by them. Also many people make it through the cracks, hence the supervisors I described.

charise
01-17-2007, 07:27 PM
I'm late, but I found this to be a very true and interesting article...(I couldn't help but read it with a British accent too... :P )

Anyhoo, I work for a very large corporation, and we were taught early on that there are some customers that we do not want...We encourage them to go to our competetors (after they've threatened that they would)...There are some people out there who's only goal is to see what they can get for free...Truly...I work for a large car manufacturer, and there are a few people who float from one car manufacturer to another...They'll buy one car from us...Jump up and down screaming for EVERTHING try to go lemon law...the whole nine...After a few years, they circulate to another manufacturer...They're actually on a list, and we alert other manufacturers about them, and vise versa...It's sad but true...

wedday
12-26-2007, 11:34 AM
:lol:

I just found this and its sooooooo true. There are times that you have to fire a customer...they become too toxic and have to go. I had to do that recently.

I run a new event planning business and I had a client that was trying to get the lowest prices on everything and wouldnt even consider doing any DIY project which would have saved her a lot of money.

"well cant you make them lower their price" :Angry:

Are you serious? These people have a household to run just like I do and if theyre like me, they have already ran the numbers and know what they need to make a profit each month.

Needless to say she got dismissed. :rolleyes: