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Top 6 Warning Signals for Identifying Bad Customers

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Top 6 Warning Signals for Identifying Bad Customers

We’ve all had that one customer that makes you want to retire early, but unfortunately the occasional bad customer is just part of doing business.

Fortunately, most bad customers will give you early warning signals and your goal is to identify these signals as soon as possible, so you can take action and eliminate them from your business.

In this article, I’m going to share my top 6 signals for identifying bad customers. I wouldn’t say this is a complete list of early warning signals for bad customers, but it’s a good start and I’m sure every industry faces similar problematic people.

1. They will often complain about your prices

Even if your prices are extremely fair they will still say you’re too expensive, and if you challenge them by asking, “how much too expensive are we”, they will not be able to give you an answer.

2. They have a rude and abrupt personality

When they walk into your business they’ll look like they’ve been weaned on vinegar and someone has killed their cat, and everything that flows from their mouth has a negative undertone.

3. They’re always asking for a discount

Not only will they ask for a discount, they will continue to tell you why your business is losing out ‘big time’ by not offering discounts to pensioners, the unemployed, students, healthcare card holders, and people with one leg.

4. They’ll ask for an account

Who leaves home without their wallet? Bad customers do, that’s who, and they’ll only tell you they have no money after you’ve already provided the service, never beforehand.

5. When you give them an account you have to chase them for payment

A good customer who receives an account will pay very quickly, whereas a bad customer will delay payment and make excuses why they can’t pay, resulting in your business having to spend time chasing them.

If you do you have to chase them, do it as fast as possible, because the longer an account is outstanding, the harder it will be to get payment, because a bad customer can easily justify why they shouldn’t have to pay you.

6. They will complain and raise their voice at the most inopportune time

Bad customers love an audience and will often raise their voice so others can hear they’re not happy with your service. If you ask them to keep their voice down, they will raise it even further so they can be heard.

Here’s the good news…

No matter the industry, you’re going to find the majority of customers that visit your business are going to be perfect, easy to work with and will make going to work a lot of fun.

So never let a few bad apples spoil your day, no matter how bad they are.

“There are more honest people and more good people then there are thieves and bad people. It’s just always been that way.” Michael Nesmith

I’ve been in the health industry for over 25 years and when you deal with people in pain, it can sometimes bring out their dark side, but even on their worst day, they are still always polite, courteous, and respectful.

A good customer will never show you any of the six signals above…it’s that simple.

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“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"



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Showing 6 comments
  • Kate
    Reply

    So true – as a small business owner you should always feel free to ‘sack’ your bad clients!

    • Tyson Franklin
      Reply

      I’m glad you agree Kate. For some reason, especially in the health industry, everyone assumes we have to treat everyone that walks through our front door and it’s not the case.

  • Karen Finnin
    Reply

    Wow Tyson i was picturing a few i have come across as i read your article! Thanks for the reminder to MOVE ON form them…

  • Roland Hanekroot
    Reply

    Nice Tyson,
    I love the ones that mention they want an account after you’ve provided the service… plain rude… big fat No to people like that is my advice… Learning how to say No is one the most underrated skills in business in my experience
    cheers
    roland

  • Brian Haverty
    Reply

    You blame your partner for your life not being as satisfying as you’d like it to be—or they blame you. Your partner is dismissive of your interests and projects. They judge the things you do by how important

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