Fire Your Customer

More perspective from Heskett’s Service Profit Chain:

How many of us have attended seminars or read recently written books that admonish us to: (1) treat customers like royalty, (2) exceed customers’ expectations and (3) assume that the customer is always right.

How often are we told that Nordstrom actually “fires” customers? We rarely, if ever, hear that side of the story. In fact, Nordstrom wows some customers and fires others who may be especially difficult for its staff to deal with (by advising them that, because of Nordstrom’s failure to find a way to meet their needs, they should perhaps seek out other stores) as part of a careful strategy to target people with a particular profile and a record of outstanding loyalty to the company.

Southwest Airlines, that paragon of good service, also fires customers, especially if they are drunk or unruly. It doesn’t just put them off its planes, Southwest tells them it never wants to see them again.

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