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Customer Quality [Management
Posted on August 11, 2016 @ 04:14:00 AM by Paul Meagher

Yesterday I caught up on a few Urban Farmer podcasts at Permaculture Voices. I found the podcast All Customers ARE NOT worth Selling To, An In-Depth Look at High Maintenance versus Low Maintenance Customers particularly interesting and useful. One of the main ideas discussed in this podcast is the idea that not all customers are the same, some are better to have than others. The main type of customer to watch out for is the low volume, high maintenance customer; a customer that requires alot of management but who is only providing a small volume of business. These can sink your business. Alternatively, the low maintenance, high volume customer is the best type of customer to have. You often do not get these customers overnight but attain them over time as you gain trust and rapport.

Customers come in all shapes and sizes and have their unique personalities; however, from a business point of view, maintenance and volume are important dimensions that you might use to guage customer quality. The table below grades customers according to where they fit on these dimensions.

Table 1 - Customer Quality

Maintenance
 
Volume
 
Low
High
Low
Ok
Best
High
Bad
Good

I encourage you to listen to the podcast to see how Curtis and Diego flesh out this table. They mention several times the concept of "firing" the customer because they fall into the Bad quadrant of this table. This contrasts with the messaging one might hear that the customer is always right. If you rigidly believe that, you may not be in business long, or you will be strugging, if too many of those customers are high maintenance and low volume.

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