Fire your Bad Customers Run Amuck

Tom Warwick provides a web form for customers to request lost registration codes and wonders why others charge for lost software registration codes. This is fire your bad customers run amuck. Technology makes it possible to determine the profitability of individual customers. Unfortunately, some use this information incorrectly and proceed to fire their bad/unprofitable customers.

Customer profitability data should be used to increase the profitability of all customers – by identifying cross-selling opportunities and by identifying how services are used and where service needs to be more efficient. Firing customers should be a last resort. But in a short term world where employee layoffs are a common means to boost company value, the last resort often comes first.

And remember that the so-called bad customers often get that way because they are the most passionate about using your service. They are often the best source of information on what is and isn’t working in your business – information that is lost to you once they’re fired.

In the case of the lost registration codes, I suspect that those who find it onerous to provide replacement codes already suffer from broken business practices. Either they don’t have an easy means of identifying existing customers, or it’s a pain to generate registration codes. Fix those problems and those bad customers you were about to fire start looking pretty good.