When the customer is not right

At James Todd & Co we can advise business owners in the Chichester area on many aspects of running and growing a business. Here are some thoughts on why it can sometimes be best to lose a customer...

Most businesses aim to increase their sales and keep existing customers at all costs. But if you live by the maxim 'the customer is always right', you may find it bad for your bottom line. Sometimes the customer isn't right for you, and it makes good sense to regularly review your business relationships.

When customers think that purchasing from you is not in their best interest, they will look for a new supplier. Similarly, if one of your customers is bad for your business, you may need to make a change.

Check your customer relationships

Here are some typical signs that a customer relationship has gone awry:

  • You need to spend a disproportionate amount of time dealing with the customer
  • You receive a disproportionate number of complaints
  • The price is never low enough
  • Payments are always late
  • Orders tend to be at peak times, when service is unavailable elsewhere
  • Volumes are inconsistent and/or small
  • Gross profit is lower than for most customers

If any customers show several of these traits, you should consider it a signal that trouble may be brewing. They may be signs of customer dissatisfaction. Make sure you correct the problems before you lose the business.

However, if you have customers with all of the above symptoms, consider terminating the relationship rather than jumping through unreasonable hoops to please them.

The benefits of losing a customer

Terminating a relationship with a bad customer can be difficult, but there will be major benefits:

  • You will be able to spend more time with your best customers rather than dealing with the problems of the worst, thereby cementing your good relationships
  • Stock levels can be reduced or more products made available for better customers
  • Getting rid of late payers is good for cash flow
  • Removing difficult customers will improve staff morale

Review your customers annually

Analysing your customers on an annual basis is a good way to determine which ones are most valuable to your company. Firing bad customers gives you more time to find good ones. You can then provide a superior service, knowing that all your customers are adding to your company's value. And that will be reflected in your bottom line.

If you are in the Chichester area and are looking for support and advice from a team of professional accountants and business advisers, contact James Todd & Co.

Have we convinced you yet?

Please feel free to get in touch via phone, email or our quick contact form.

We offer initial free consultations – simply contact us to find out more.


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01243 776938
Lavant and Chichester
01273 470123
Lewes

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James Todd & Co, 1/2 The Barn, Oldwick, West Stoke Road, Chichester PO18 9AA
James Todd & Co, 16 Northgate, Chichester PO19 1BJ
James Todd & Co, The Mews, St Nicholas Lane, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2JZ

James Todd & Co is the trading name of James Todd & Co Limited. Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors. Registered No: 07350649 in England. VAT No. 322087875. ICAEW Firm Reference No: C002730145 and James Todd & Co (Lewes) Ltd (formerly known as Axtons). Chartered Accountants. Registered No: 11214467 in England. VAT No. 290460506. ICAEW Firm Reference No: C005791297

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