With small businesses still being buffeted by a sluggish economy, we need to keep every customer we have, right? However, recently I have seen a number of articles making a valid case for doing just the opposite, getting rid of, or stopping to pay attention to customers who are a drain on your systems, and worse yet annoying your good customers.

Here a few examples I have seen recently:

Jackie Huba writes about the The Alamo Drafthouse in Texas.  They will ask noisy patrons to leave because they destroy the experience for others.  If they allowed it to continue, the other patrons would chose not to return.  She says:

If you stand with your best customers at the expense of the bad ones, you’ll win bigger. The customer is always right — if it’s the right customer.

The same day I read Jackie’s column, I found one by Erik Deckers about another  Texas company,  Southwest Airlines.  They are known for doing everything possible to make the flights comfortable and fun, but a screaming child just isn’t fun.  So, on a recent flight, they booted Pamela Root and her 2-year-old son Adam off their flight in Amarillo, Texas, after he continually screams “Go! Plane! Go!” and “I want Daddy!”

And before you begin believing this trend is just a “Texas” thing, check out the case Seth Godin makes for focusing on your best cusomters. He says:

Every industry has people who are worth more, buzz more, care more and buy more than other people. Don’t treat people the same, find the ones that matter more to you, and hug them.

So have you hugged your best customers lately?


PROMOTION: Have you structured your marketing budget to focus on your best clients and referral sources?   Learn how in our 90 minute workshop: Marketing by the Numbers Tuesday, November 10