Taking out the garbage


In any business, some customers will be overly demanding, have a bad attitude, or exhibit other behaviors that make them unprofitable. Most business strategy folks would advise “firing” these unsavory customers once you identify them. But there’s another aspect to these misbehaving customers that is often overlooked. Specifically, their actions can worsen the experience for other customers and drive your good customers away.

Cases like this require swift and decisive action. Let’s say that you have a restaurant, or a hotel, or a store. One of your customers is being loud and obnoxious, and is not only bothering your staff but scaring away your other customers too. Every minute this goes on is a threat to your revenues and customer satisfaction scores. So don’t put up with it: throw out the jerks, and do it in a very public way so that the good customers know you care about their experience, and won’t stand for people who want to ruin it.

Sure, there are practical limits here. People who might become violent may require help from your security team or calling the police to assist. Rules for proper conduct need to be posted and enforced equally across your entire customer base. And you should probably avoid using the offending party’s name or picture in any messaging to the rest of your customers that explains how you’ve reacted. But done properly and tastefully, throwing out customers who don’t behave like reasonable citizens will make your staff and the other 99% of your customers a lot happier, and shows them that you value their experience at your business.