Business Customer Success: How to Quantify Impact of Bad-Fit Customers

Customer Success business strategy is a method that ensures that a client achieves success or achieves their goals after using y

Customer Success business strategy is a method that ensures that a client achieves success or achieves their goals after using your product.

Of course, for any business it’s great to realize who your ideal customer is. When defining your target audience, it would be also beneficial if you point out what type of clients form the bad-fit audience and how to reduce the harmful impact on your business.

This article will enlarge the scales of your business awareness and help you concentrate on multiplying incomes rather than losing your money.

To begin with, let’s clarify who they are, the mysterious bad-fit customers. Bad-fit customers hold 0 potential for your business.

A client is bad-fit when you cannot deliver immediate value, nor can you – based on where you’re at today, your available resources, etc. – realistically deliver future value in the required time frame for these customers.

In simple words, you can’t make a profit out of selling your goods to this type of customer not because you don’t want to but because their demands do not coincide with your resources. A bad fit customer is very often out of your target audience. You may try to make it successful but you won’t master.

It’s pretty obvious why salesmen choose to identify bad-fit customers and ignore them. Apart from being considered as a danger and root of all evil, bad-fit customers are not welcomed because:

(1) They are false positives. Bad-fit customers mess up analytics and conversion statistics.

(2) Bad-fit customers waste your time and take your money.

(3) They steal time from good or stretch customers.

6 Types of Customer Fit for Predicting Customer Success

Lincoln Murphy, Customer Success consultant, defines 6 types of clients fit.

  • Technical Fit. Does the buyer possess the right technology to get benefits of your product?
  • Resource Fit: Does the customer possess the recourse to purchase your product and feel successful with it?
  • Functional Fit: Is your ability to make the buyer successful?
  • Competence Fit: What additional knowledge the client needs to be successful with your product. Are they able to obtain this knowledge?
  • Cultural Fit: Does the customer share your core values, without which you two would not find common ground? (GameStop are targeted on geeks, esports betting sites’ audience is composed of betting and CSGO lovers, Under Armour targets sporty people with high income).
  • Experience Fit: Can you provide the appropriate experience the customers need—the proper help, instruction, and support—to be successful with your product?

Tips to Quantify the Impact of Bad-Fit Customers

Make Up A Checklist of Potential Success

A bad- client is one for whom you cannot tick all the boxes on the success potential checklist.

Remember, your success potential checklist will change with the flow of market, customers, product, company etc. When that happens, customers of the bad-fit category may join the good-fit category and vise versa. Good-fit clients are becoming bad fit clients. Your potential success checklist is never stable. It is a constantly evolving document that is being adapted to a moody market.

Revise Customers that Cancelled and/or Expanded During the Last 3-6 Month

Point out those that match the definition of the bad-fit customers.

If you are looking at churn back 6 months but your success potential checklist changed 3 months ago, you will have to look at the previous 3 months using a potential worksheet of success from that period rather than today’s definition.

If a large number – say 75%, for example – of customers who canceled were marked as Bad-fit, that’s pretty strong evidence that sales are closing the wrong customers.

There is no such definition as a “satisfying percentage” of bad-fit customers. The higher percentage the worse it is for your business.

Why do I Initiate that? Well, I need to give answers to the following questions.

How many clients who left had 0 potential to close the trade circle?

How many customers who left were good-fit?

If your calculations are correct, this and the bad-fit should comprise 100%. Bad-fit clients or in other words inappropriate, don’t let your business focus on potentially successful customers and make some of them leave.

Note how long they stayed from the moment of registration and by the time they canceled or failed to renew. Be sure to point out how long they need to stay to recoup their customer acquisition (CAC) costs

Track the Sales Cycle. How Long Does It Take to Close Bad and Good-Fit Customers

Are the wrong clients closing at the same rate as the good ones?

Does it take longer to sell to inappropriate clients?

If it happens so (which is usually because it takes more persistence on your part and more faith on their part), this is a warning sign.

You can also track it chronologically. Analyze the previous trade cycle times for bad-fit customers and well-matched customers.

It probably also plays at CAC (Customer acquisition cost). Longer sales cycles increase CAC (this is the sum you pay to attract a new customer) and decrease its efficiency.

The longer the sales cycle is, the fewer your sales. It’s a no-brainer. To get a heated support of your idea from top-sellers, show them an easy way to shorten this cycle and close more deals. Voila, you are their best friend.

Review Your Current Client and Point Out Those Who Have 0 Success Potential (or Simply Don’t Match)

When sorting the customers try not to label them as bad-fit, bf, inappropriate, or etc. Synonymize. Think over the reason they may not buy from you.

When a customer churns, doesn’t renew, or is unable to expand, Iknow if that customer was really a bad-fit or not.

Once we have mapped the unsuitable customers, we have higher chances to predict what percentage of our customers are likely to leave and stop purchasing our product. This makes you get mentally prepared for the potential loss. However, the same with the amount cancelation revenue, this method will also help you predict when your customers will cut the rope between you. Besides, you will also find out what percentage of clients is more likely to expand.

Start Tracking Time Spent With Clients

No excessive details, just wasted time.

Explain why you are doing this with your CSMs to keep them on your side. They will resist it and won’t understand why you’re doing this unless you explain correctly why on earth you’re so hooked on it.

No experienced CSM really wants to work with bad-fit clients; they know it is a waste of time, but let them see HOW MUCH time they REALLY waste.

Take a week for the first time and then enlarge the time of observation. Track how much time you spend with unsuitable and good-fit buyers, compare, and the result will turn everything upside down.

Almost ANY time dedicated to the wrong customers is the time NOT dedicated to the right customers.

If the time deviates too much in favor of a bad match, it becomes obvious that he is deviating from a good match.

But even if there are more suitable customers than bad-fit ones (which we hope is true for your business), clients with a bad fit still steal time that you were supposed to spend with an appropriate client.

If you can show that you are spending time with inappropriate clients who leave anyway, that’s bad.

Create a Visual Representation to Fully Comprehend the Consequences

After the research is done, you need to systemize the data received. The visual presentation will help you better realize what damaging impact bad-fit customers have on your business and let you get off the slippery path of retaining them. Use illustrations, infographics, and stick to accurate calculations. You can also deliver this info to your executives. A well-done presentation of the Impact of Bad-Fit Customers should include the following data.

  • Pipeline analysis of good and bad-fit customers.
  • The level of churn (for any reason) of good and inappropriate customers.
  • The negative market sentiment of suitable and unsuitable clients.
  • Sales Cycle Lengths.
  • The profits of good and unsuitable customers (in percentages).
  • The total time spent on “good” and “bad” customers (in hours).

You can surely replenish the list with any suitable, in your opinion, data. All in all, who if not you knows your audience and how to deliver this info to them.


Defying the target audience is an inevitable part of your business concept. There is no such definition as “unique customer” that has a need in everything the retailers offer to them. While some companies still haunt the idea of serving any client, those who advanced in business have their own database of bad-fit clients (clients that can’t reach success with their products) and learned to avoid them in favour of good-fit customers. Unfortunately, for some corporations, the bad-fit customers are still not measured to be a disaster. Nevertheless, by following our tips, every retailer will learn to quantify the impact of inappropriate clients on their business and learn to concentrate on suitable audiences.

Author’s Bio

Daniel Witman is a passionate journalist who has contributed to major media publications. He enjoys writing about eSports and other topics that bother modern men. Currently, he’s serving as an editor for

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