One of my favorite authors is Seth Godin, author of  The Purple Cow, and several other best seller books. He has written a brilliant blog post – The Unreasonable Customer. I have duplicated it here as it is relevant to Customer Satisfaction Professionals.

Seth writes a wonderful blog so if you like his wisdom, subscribe to his blog. It’s free and he writes short posts almost every day.

Here’s Seth Godin’s post:

The Unreasonable Customer

There are a few reasons to tolerate the customer who makes unreasonable demands:

  • You promised you would
  • She helps you raise your game
  • Her word of mouth is very powerful
  • The cost of frequently figuring out which customers to fire is too high compared to the cost of putting up with everyone

It’s probably worth firing a customer if:

  • He willfully corrupts your systems at a cost to other customers
  • Your employees are prevented from doing their best work in the long run
  • His word of mouth can’t be changed or doesn’t matter
  • He distracts you from delighting customers that are reasonable

In general, organizations are afraid to fire customers, no matter how unreasonable. This is a mistake. It’s good for you.


I am in agreement with Seth’s comments but I do have a longer list of when to ‘fire’ a customer. See the blog post titled When is it acceptable to say NO to a customer? One of the reasons that Seth did not mention,  is if the customer wants your organization to do something illegal, immoral or that would drive you out of business.

Do you agree with Seth? Leave your comments below.


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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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