I just read a great, detailed article by a first-time LinkedIN author, Stephen Bateman.
In his hybrid inform/training post titled, B2B content marketing: how to set a strategy for an SME then run a simple cost-effective programme, Bateman goes so far as to say that he designs marketing messages to repel customers - the wrong customers, that is.
It's an interesting take on something I've advised my clients to do: fire your costly, complaint-prone customers and focus on building more profitable ones.
In my view, you want your competitors to have difficult customers that are never satisfied with the product. You want the competition to try to please these customers while they over-dedicate resources that would be better spent hunting for new business... because that's what you'll be doing while they are otherwise occupied!
Bateman one-ups my advice. He's figured out that the company doesn't want to take these customers on in the first place. Here's what he recommends:
... my content marketing training website [will] attract, engage, educate, inform, convince and acquire new clients. But I'm also designing my website so that it turns some people away! That's because I'd rather have 5 ideal customers than 20 mediocre customers.
He's right on.
I appreciate the sentiment. I'll be updating my own take on costly customers. Perhaps you would benefit from the same advice?