Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, the creator of the Net Promoter Score, estimated that the cost of acquiring a new customer is 6-7 greater than that of retaining an existing customer. Clearly, building a profitable customer base is the lifeblood of professional service firms. Not only do they produce recurring revenue and profits, but a satisfied customer will also help you grow by means of referrals.
But a bad customer is like a cancer to a business. They generally are unprofitable and they drag your team down into negativity and low productivity. While we don't advocate throwing the baby out with the bath water, sometimes the best course of action for both parties to the relationship is to end it.
The infographic below identifies 5 characteristics of a bad customer relationship. If you can identify these problems early, you have a chance to address them and potentially save the relationship. If you can't resolve them to everyone's satisfaction, you need to question whether it's worth continuing the relationship.