Bad Customers

I can see it now one of those videos on the Internet by some American business guru entitled , " How to get rid of your bad customers". Serious articles in the Harvert Business review about how   studies of top US companies have revealed that they are good at "disensentivising" bad customers. 

Now if by bad customers we mean those who are persistently or deliberately late in paying their bills I can see why businesses would benefit from getting rid of them. I am also familiar with the vexatious complainant who attempts to turn an organisation's complaints process into a means of conducting a personal vendetta and whose original complaint is overtaken by complaints about everyone who has tried to resolve the matter. These are undoubtably bad customers but I suspect those who have regular contact with customers would see a bad customer as an awkward customer and an awkward customer can simply be a demanding customer or one that is not easily placated. Demanding can mean clear about what they want and not willing to be diverted or to accommodate the convenience of the service. My concern is that if the term " bad customer " gains currency in the public sector it will be another tactic for dismissing complaints. It will legitimise getting rid of awkward customers. It would be easier to justify withdrawing a service from a "difficult" customer. The market can do that the public sector shouldn't.

Blair McPherson former director, author and blogger

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