This Foodie Friday, we have the tale of a restaurant that fired a customer. A regular customer ordered some takeout and asked that it be delivered. The delivery guy, who is autistic, had handed the customer the wrong order from his car (he went back and corrected it immediately). The customer called the restaurant, furious. and informed the owner that the driver was an idiot and strung out on drugs (neither of which was true). I’ll let the owner (via his Facebook post) tell you the rest:
This driver has worked for us for two years. He is a seriously accomplished University student, has an amazingly inquisitive personality, a wicked sense of humor and one helluva work ethic! You would think, in the year 2015 the majority of the population would have learned or at least heard about autism. I understand that there is a large portion of our population that is content to remain uninformed and uneducated, but that doesn’t give them the right to take that ignorance and turn it into a foul-mouthed rant on two of my employees!
Therefore, we have fired this customer. That address, that name and phone number will be tagged with a DO NOT DELIVER DO NOT ACCEPT ORDER message.
Now, we talk a lot in this space about being 100% customer-focused and seeing the world through the consumer’s eyes. There are times, however, when we need to fire a client or a customer, and clearly this is one of them. When you have a client or a customer that does certain things, it’s really time to move on. Such as?
When there is no longer trust between you. Maybe you sense there is unethical stuff going on or maybe the communication has become irreparably damaged. Time to move on. When clients stop paying their bills on time and don’t have a good faith discussion about the reasons why and the plan to do so, it’s time to stop working. Financial abuse is abuse nonetheless. Maybe they begin to demand more work (or additional products) for no additional money. No, thank you. Finally, as is the case above, maybe they’ve become abusive verbally on a regular basis. Everyone gets mad once in a while and you can’t make a souffle without cracking an egg or two. That doesn’t mean a customer gets to cross the line on a regular basis.
Being customer centric doesn’t mean being a punching bag. No client or customer is worth demeaning yourself to retain. You might lose a customer, but you’ll lose a headache in the process.