In our last post, we discussed the importance of identifying and targeting your ideal customer or client. The worksheets are now available. The next step is to identify undesirable customers or clients. Undesirable customers are those that weigh down your business in some way. It is also important to profile these customers/potential customers and avoid them.
An undesirable customer checklist is important for several reasons:
- Marketing – reminding yourself of undesirable customers helps you maintain focus on your ideal customer, which saves both time and money.
- Social media engagement – undesirable customers, when engaged in social media, use valuable time and resources that produce no ROI (return on investment) or, possibly, a negative ROI
- Customer acceptance – Some businesses have more control over who becomes a customer/client than others. Your undesirable customer profile will keep you focused on your best and most profitable customers and avoid some of the frustration associated with “bad” customers.
- Company profitability – Undesirable customers are often a drain on staff time and company resources. Too many “bad” customers will eventually affect the bottom line.
As you think about undesirable customers/clients, it is important to think about both demographics and psychographics, as you did in creating your ideal customer profile. Some businesses will have several undesirable customer profiles.
Some typical characteristics of undesirable customers for a business include:
- Constantly presses for lower prices
- Requires too much management time (directly or indirectly)
- Treats you or your team rudely, treats you like a commodity, demands excessive time from you or your staff
- Pays late or slowly
- Has a long decision making process that often never reaches a decision
- Corporate policies and processes (B2B) make it too difficult to do business
- Buys from you only as a last resort
- Refuses to pay for the best
Use the list above as a guideline to create your undesirable customer profile. Share it with your team and add their input. Then create a checklist you can share with all members of your team, including outsourced service providers. When everyone understands why these characteristics make prospective customers undesirable, your team can quickly run through the checklist before engaging a prospect.
By rejecting undesirable customers or “bad clients,” you can focus your company’s marketing and social engagement. You can also maximize your staff’s time with ideal customers by relating to them differently from the way they relate to undesirable customers. The ability to focus on your best customers will improve staff morale, marketing ROI, and company profitability.
By Staff, Little Black Dog Social Media & More