I have seen this article written in Forbes website [here], and read it several times since it was published. It describes /explains some keys for achieving excellent customer service. Those “ten commandments” are true in those cases that the customer is a real “pain in the butt”...
Thats okay, I can live with this list except the last one, the tenth in the list:
: A customer the company may need to fire to be more profitable. Be quick to identify and replace them.
It is a wishful thinking for each supporter firing this annoying customer. Is it really that easy? I don’t think so.
Let’s assume that your customer is paying each year some $200,000 buying from you HW, SW and renewal of support contract. At what time exactly you can afford yourself to get rid of this customer, at the “startup phase” when this value is some 30% of your income or when the company is well firmed, and this value is 5% or less from your income?
In my point of view one cannot underestimate this income (or any other sum). When you reaching this point when you feel that you customer is becoming to be “pest”, it is the time to change tactics.
The first option, which is commonly used as the last resort, instead of pushing the customer away, embrace! You need to empower the customer by embedding it. See my post explaining what is embedded customer [here]
For the second options, some changes in support SLA needed to done. You need to ask the customer to be certified into certain level to get an SLA. Each certification level will have its own SLA. You will benefit twice: 1 - The educated customer will not want to be considered to be lame (hey... I need to “kick the cat” [see #6 here] once in a while); 2 – you charge MORE for different SLAs, training and certifications.