Should you ever "fire" a customer?

I get emails all the time from jewelry makers around the world with all kinds of questions.

One of the more common ones is what to do about "pests" who sap their time with repeated complaints, adjustments and seemingly unfair requests.

The short answer to the question of whether or not it's ever okay to "fire" a customer is: Yes.

However, before you go all Donald Trump on them, make sure:
  1. Your customer service policies are fair;
  2. That your return policy is generous and favors the customer;
  3. That your work is top quality; and
  4. That your pricing matches the quality of your work.
If those four things are in order, then there are times when a customers needs and your willingness to bend don't match.

A great customer who pays for your work but likes to talk is not a pest.

A customer who bought one piece but requires scads of little adjustments and is never happy is probably someone you may eventually decide to let go.

How do you know it's time?
It's not good for you or for them to continue a bad relationship.

And there may be times when you may say, "I think, based on our experiences so far, that we might not be a good fit as jewelry-maker and client ... what do you think isn't going well?"

Let the customer respond, and then explain what you feel isn't going well.

If it's salvageable, then try to salvage it, but if not, saying goodbye may improve your spirits so that you are in a better frame of mind to deal with the customers you truly love serving.

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