With some people your best effort is not enough. In every company there is a small group of customers who take more resources than all the rest combined.

Why do you think companies offer money back guarantees? Because their product is so good that the guarantee will never bel called in? No. It’s because around only 2% of customers will use it – whether more could or not.

Marketing experts know this and factor the cost of such refunds into their risk reversal campaigns.

This 2% is the group I’m talking about – they are the ones whop will want you to give the most amazing deal and then go the extra mile in every call and on every contact. They’ll cost amny times more to service than your best customers.

But what can you do? Especially if you’re focussed on the best possible customer service. The old school believe that you need to grin and bear it.

I used to agree.

Now we rank our customers and let the top 2% – those draining our resources to the detriment of others – know that there are “issues” which need to be addressed.

In our kind of business where we serve customers long term andfor a fixed fee each year it is in our interests and all customer interests that customers are efficient in using our time. hence the need to provide this type of feedback. It’s a risk though.

Our experience is that openness with customers and their need to lift their game is appreciated, they try harder and it creates a good win win. The risk is they label you as arrogant and go to the competition. It’s happened rarely and some have even swung back. Most, though, understand that we’re trying to help them and appreciate our oepnness.

So if I’m a customer of yours and I come with a high overhead, please let me know. I’d appreciate the feedback.

Customers need to provide good ‘service’ as much as your employees. The challenge is how you let customers in on this need you have of them.