Losing a client can put a business in a challenging situation, especially if they were key to a company’s monthly revenue stream. While the situation isn’t ideal, it’s sometimes hard for entrepreneurs to avoid completely. Companies change service providers frequently, and the switch may have nothing to do with the solutions a business owner is providing. It’s important for a company to know how to handle the situation and ensure it can still prevail.
Try to Salvage the Business
There’s no reason to accept defeat without even trying to retain a client’s business – even if a company is adamant about leaving, their reasoning can provide you with valuable insight you can use to ensure other clients are satisfied.
After you’ve received a call or email that explains a client will no longer be doing business with you, it’s essential to act immediately. Find out if there is anything that will change a client’s mind about leaving – offering discounts or additional service options may help a buyer see the value in a company’s services and alter their decision. However, this won’t be the case in every instance.
If a client is intent on no longer relying on a company, you should intend to find out why this is the case. Don’t be shy about requesting feedback. Asking questions is important and can help you guarantee your business isn’t inadvertently making any mistakes that could harm your relationships with other key clients. Why will a company no longer employ your firm? Have they found another provider with lower costs? Are your solutions not meeting their changing needs? Their answers may hint at trends you need to be aware of to stay on top of the market.
When a client is hesitant to reveal their reasoning, it may help to look through recent emails, invoices or orders to see if there were any indicators they weren’t satisfied or if your business made any mistakes that could have contributed to the departure. A steady decline in orders or a major invoice mistake may shed light on the situation and give you the opportunity to resolve it.
Address Any Concerns or Problems
Whether you manage to retain a client’s business or not, you’ll likely need to make changes to your processes or services based on their feedback. If new technology has forced a company to move to a provider that can provide additional solutions, it may be time for your enterprise to investigate this growing market and its potential to help you bring in more business. If costs were a main concern, it may be time to review internal processes and audit department spending to see if there is any waste or areas in which you can cut operational expenditures. This may be able to help you lower costs for clients or even determine how to adjust pricing structures and make your business more competitive.
Making these fixes isn’t enough – it’s critical to ensure your business follows through on any changes you planned on making. It’s easy for entrepreneurs to get bogged down dealing with other clients or operational aspects of the business, so it’s important to delegate if necessary. This guarantees your company isn’t stopped from making any major changes necessary to help it retain a big account or offer additional options to all purchasers.
If a client decides they are no longer in need of your services, you may not be able to stop them. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out in a few months to see how things are going and if they are in need of any assistance you can provide. There’s no harm in sending a friendly email or making a phone call to see how things are going and offer a client the chance to return, particularly if you’ve updated your pricing structure or added new services they may be interested in.
If the client is willing to make the switch and come back, your business has the opportunity to rebuild the relationship and ensure it lasts. On the contrary, if the client isn’t interested, it’s important not to take the situation personally and simply let it slide. While you still may want to reach out occasionally to ensure they remember you and are aware of any updates you’ve made, remember not to harass a former client. This won’t leave them with a good impression of your business and will likely push them away. Knowing when to touch base and when to hold back can help you guarantee your company has a strong standing with a former client should they ever need to employ your services in the future.