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This article was published on December 13, 2016

    You’re fired as a customer

    You’re fired as a customer
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    As a customer, it’s only fair to demand the best customer service possible from a company. You expect to be treated justly and fair. And this happens… most of the time.

    But there are instances in which customer service sucks. How can they treat you like this? Should you complain? Don’t they care about their reputation?

    They absolutely do care about their reputation. But it’s important to understand that no company will ever have a 100 percent success rate with regards to customer relationships. There’s always a small percentage of people that will complain no matter what you do, or will just have bad luck with all aspects of your business.

    As a company, you accept that. And focus on the 99 percent of people that you can satisfy.

    Once upon a time, a customer complained daily about one of my companies – even cursing at my employees. No matter what they did, he moaned and demanded more. I eventually took over the conversation and very politely explained that I was firing him as a customer – we would never be able to satisfy his needs and decided to not invest in him anymore. I then directed him to our competitors and deleted his account.

    At first, he was furious, then became silent, and then begged to be taken back. My employees were elated that they no longer had to deal with the angry customer and could now spend more time on helping people that enjoyed our service.

    If you’re asking for something from a business, make sure you fit in the 99 percent of customers they enjoy talking to – don’t be in the small fraction that ruins their day. And if you own a company, offer the best service you can – but consider which customers you want to invest the majority of time in.


    This is my introduction text for last week’s issue of our TNW Weekly update. You can read the whole newsletter here, or sign up to receive your own copy.