Treating different customers differently
I've gotten a lot of email about: Sprint may cancel your service if you call customer service too often.
Apparently, about 1,000 people got this note. They weren't delinquent in their bills, but they were calling in and complaining approximately 25 times a month.
If you're going to be obsessed with delighting customers, it's a lot more efficient to focus on customers that are able to be delighted. That sounds like a tautology, but it's actually a guiding principle for successful businesses. Hire nice people and attract satisfiable, gabby customers. Why not?
These 1000 people were actually happy to be unhappy. They were unpleasable, and they weren't helping either word of mouth or the ability of the call center folks to do good work.
I think the mistake Sprint made was in only giving people one day's notice. I probably would have given them a month or so... Turns out Sprint even gave them one month's notice.
What would happen if you fired (nicely) the very few customers that take your best effort but rarely appreciate it or spread the word?