Keeping clients is the goal of every company. However, the business world can be unstable, and despite all of the best efforts of a company’s management and staff, clients can leave the industry, go out of business or choose to go to one of your competitors. Here are some suggestions on how to prepare for and handle the inevitable loss of a client.
- Stay calm, stay focused: Retaining a neutral attitude in the face of a client’s departure, especially if that client was a significant source of revenue, can be difficult. However, your entire organization will benefit if you stay calm and focused on current business rather than going into crisis mode. It may take an Academy Award-winning performance on your part, but keep your reactions neutral and reasonable.
- Reassure your staff: The loss of an important client can be devastating to employee commitment and morale, so do everything possible to reassure your staff during this time. Meet with staff members who worked with the departed client and offer reassurance and understanding. Help employees understand how the loss will affect them and what they can do to refocus their efforts. Redouble your determination to keep valuable employees.
- Look for the positives: Don’t automatically assume that the loss of a particular client will be a disaster, even if the situation looks bad in the short term. The departure of a customer can free up time and resources, allowing you and your employees to pursue larger clients or expand the care and attention given to current customers. Learn the lessons that need to be learned from the situation and proceed with business as usual.
- Expand and diversify: It can be very easy to let one client grow to be your major source of revenue. If that client leaves, it can be a serious blow. Prevent this type of crisis by continually cultivating new clients and other sources of income. Don’t neglect customer acquisition and business development during the good times and you’ll be better able to endure setbacks.
What will you do if a client leaves? Are you meeting your goals forreactivating past customers and keeping clients?
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