Firing a PITA client can be a liberating thing – if done well. But there’s risk associated with cutting off a client besides loss of income from them.
Just as good news travels between like-minded people, bad news (being fired by a supplier) travels even faster. And that news is colored by the client’s spin even if you’re in the right.
Unfortunately even more folks hear of the bad news than ever hear of the good news. Some of the “bad news” is repeated by the offended party (the PITA client) to their close friends. Even more can make the underground circuit in no time flat, but with a spin against you as the supplier. Unfortunately, there’s precious little that one can do as a supplier in these circumstances. Start the “he said – she said” game and your business will likely suffer beyond the single firing.
How much can this underground network hurt or help? When email first started being used by businesses, I was responsible for a new product line that was a year late when I took on the job. ONE complaint about the project from a customer waiting for the parts was copied to twice as many people as had designed in the part. Careful, thoughtful, transparent communications kept all 683 customers satisfied while we worked through the problems. Done wrong, and the bad news would have propagated to several times theb number of people – and we would never have the chance to fix the problem.
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