How to identify Bad Customers and Skyrocket Conversion Rates

Click here.It may seem counter intuitive to get rid of customers when running a business but every business should have a system for identifying bad customers.


[socialrocket-tweet quote=”Bad Customers do nothing for your business apart from giving you a headache and preventing you from giving your best to deserving clients.” tweet=”Bad Customers do nothing for your business apart from giving you a headache and preventing you from giving your best to deserving clients.” style_id=”default”]

In your business you more than likely have the 80/20 rule in operation.

80% of your clients are a joy to work with (appreciate your service and pay on time) but 20% are a nightmare. The resources, attention and overall fire dousing you have to do with them affects your ability to truly serve the 80% at the high levels of service you aim for. This is not good for business.

The first thing to remember is right at the beginning when a potential client makes contact. You need to have a philosophy in the mind of each employee of your business where clients are being interviewed by the business to see if they are a good fit. Not the client interviewing you.

This is not just a corporate “mambo-jumbo” philosophy thing either but a proven conversion tactic that immediately makes your business seem premium and not too desperate for business.

You will actually see a higher conversion rate of leads to clients when you implement a client interview process and you will get the information you need about how best to serve the client and whether they should be avoided.

It is vitally important at this stage to set expectations as to the services and products you provide and the benefits it will bring to them. When you sign up the client it is important to get them to agree to a contract that specifically states what service you will be providing them.

If the client starts objecting at this signup stage and saying things like, “For that $100 fee I expect to be getting 10,000 new visitors to my website in a week!” – Then it may be good to gently nudge them towards a realistic expectation. If they don’t accept it, the key is not to fight and simply move on.

Now let’s move onto psychological profiling. If you see you are dealing with these type of people below whether in the client interview or with an existing client it is time to move on and fire them!

Bad Customers: A Psychological Profiling

bad customers

The Angry Person

I think we are all familiar with these bad customers and it is best that you stay far away from them. You will see them yelling and screaming to their staff and making other people around them very uncomfortable. Even if they seem excited to do business with you initially it is best to stay clear as they could become a major time waster when they go on one of their attention rants.

The Loser

Now this person is the type that has never succeeded in anything and everything they tell you about goes along the lines of “I tried this and it didn’t work and then this etc.”

It just goes on and on and you can feel the very life being sucked out of you as they keep talking. Again stay away from them, they will be a nightmare as there general outlook is bleak. Even if you do great things for them they will still find something negative or worse, they will reverse-engineer their own failure through self-sabotage and then blame you for it!

The victim

This is quite similar to the loser above where everything bad happens to them and it is never their own fault. For the same reasons as the loser they will suck the life out of you so never deal with them.

The criminal

Now these are ones to be extra careful of as they try and get something for nothing. For example if you see that they don’t pay their taxes, or they do unethical things like buy stuff on the black-market, you know you are dealing with a criminal.

If they are going to be criminal in their dealings with clients and the government they will be guaranteed to be no good for you. You have to be so careful with these as they can often get you to do a lot of service and then flat out not pay the rest of your dues.

Now most times you will not be witness to them partaking in actual crime but in your conversations you will be looking for anything shady in what they say or act. Little things they do or say can tip you off to their character so be aware of this when interviewing them.

In conclusion

You should only work with people you like and people you feel you can genuinely help. There will come times when you feel you really need the money and even though you don’t like the client, you brush that feeling aside.

Don’t do it because as we have seen they could cost you a lot of time, make you feel bad about yourself and in the end may not even pay you. It is just not worth it.

If you currently have these bad customer profiles in your business, I would suggest you look at your calls and your emails and see how much time they are taking from you. If it is a lot it may be time to tell them that you are changing your business model to include this and that and it will cost $X (insert higher amount here)

If they are unhappy with this, which they probably will be then you just move on. If they are actually happy with paying more, then give them another chance with a clear business contract that leaves no one in the dark of what expectations are.

Give them three months and then re-evaluate their value to you.

Humor: Need Proof Bad Customers exist? Click here.

For more conversion optimization tips claim the free 7 Step Conversion Checklist.

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Daniel Kleinfeld
10 years ago

An excellent post, as most freelancers and small businesses are just trying to get as many clients as possible – not always thinking about the potential damage that they may be doing to themselves. Of course, you always need to be SURE that the clients are the worst – you might have caught the angry one on an off day, or the loser is just beginning to turn his luck around 🙂