Every business has great customers and some “not so great” customers.

Business books will tell you to routinely review your customer list and fire the bottom X number of clients, either because they are slow to pay, make unprofitable demands or otherwise create a drain on your team – taking time that is valued more and better spent on your top customers.

The idea is simple – spend less time on the demanding customers who don’t help grow your business, and more time on those who are the most profitable, enjoyable to work with and for whom you provide real value – and they appreciate it!

Our suggestion: Don’t stop there. Your great customers need to be nurtured and cared for, and also queried for new ways you can meet their needs. Call your top 5-10 best customers. If you’re a one-and-done business, call your top referral sources, AND your 5 most recent great customers. Ask them:

  • How do you rate us on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the absolute best experience possible?
  • If you had to name one thing you wish we did better, what would it be?
  • What else? (Note, asking “anything else?” is a close-ended question. Ask open-ended questions.)
  • For referral sources: How can we make YOUR job/life easier?
  • Last question: What is one product or service you wish we provided, that we don’t currently?

There are no right or wrong answers here. It’s just feedback, and all feedback is good. The answers to these questions can help you double-down on what you’re doing great, and improve the things that are so-so. You may also discover a new niche or business opportunity.

Worst case, you continue to strengthen your relationship with your top customers.