How To Avoid Losing A Client: 7 Easy Steps
We all assume it’s the quality of our work that keeps clients coming back for more. Why is it then that sometimes clients stray despite the high quality of our work? The answer: they’re annoyed with stuff that may have nothing to do with the work, itself. It’s tough enough to bring new customers or clients on board. Why throw them away through carelessness or neglect?
Here are seven easy-to-fix behaviors that can send clients Googling for alternatives to your company. Knowing how to avoid them can help you keep the clients you depend on:
1. You don’t communicate - You may know exactly what’s going on with a particular job or order, but your client might be on pins and needles. So even when it comes through on time and in good shape, for your client, the experience has not been a pleasant one. Pick up the phone or send an email. Tell people what’s going on.
2. You over-promise and under-deliver - The work was fine and you delivered on time, but it’s not as great as you’d led them to expect. Be careful what you promise. Your client will remember.
3. You wait until the client pushes YOU - Just because your client has a project manager doesn’t mean you’re absolved from management responsibilities. Help them stay on schedule and they’ll respect you even more.
4. You don't show up at meetings, cancel at the last moment or come late - As that great philosopher Woody Allen once said, “80% of success is just showing up.” Nothing annoys a client more (or signals more disrespect) than not showing up. Here’s an idea: Get there five minutes early.
5. You surprise your client with unexpected invoices - Isn’t this when your client picks up the phone and asks what the heck the invoice is all about? Good clients don’t mind paying your bills when they expect them. But when they don’t, look out. Be upfront about your pricing. If a project is going over budget, have the conversation when it’s happening, NOT when the client is holding the invoice.
6. You don't send your bill - Every company has to manage its cash flow. If your invoicing is unpredictable, you make it more difficult for your clients. Why be difficult? Bill promptly.
7. You insist on YOUR communication method - This can be a subtle, but powerful, inducement for your client to seek help elsewhere. Your clients may not tell what communication methods they prefer. Ask them.
All of this seems to be common sense, of course. But that’s exactly the kind of sense that can be so uncommon. Why lose clients when it can be so simple to keep them happy?