I was seated at a restaurant table across from a customer who had been extremely rude and loud to his waitress his entire meal. His coffee was too cold, his chicken too salty, the room was too hot, and the waitress was not quick enough. It was darkly staining the experience of everyone in the restaurant. His biggest fireworks came when she brought him the check. “Do you expect me to pay for this garbage and your lousy service?” he curtly asked her. Despite her obvious patience and extreme diplomacy, she seemed helpless.

The restaurant manager approached the customer after the waitress pleaded for help in dealing with this grinch. “I am sorry your experience was not your liking,” the manager told the customer, “we’ll gladly comp your entire meal and hope you return and give us another chance.”

Wait a minute! Rather than fire this offensive customer earlier in the experience, he was getting away with his detestable behavior. He was actually being rewarded with a free meal. Plus he was being invited back to abuse more wait staff who were doing everything right. What about taking care of the associates? The customer is not always right. Sometimes, the best practice for your organization is to tell the customer to “hit the road.” Google “Forbes Chip Bell” and read my recipe for how and when to fire a customer.