But, like other companies I do on occasion lose clients. Sometimes, we have lost clients we have taken wonderful care of over many years. When you lose those clients, it typically hurts a bit. Especially when you had a great relationship, right up until the time they leave. As an example, I had a nonprofit that I supported for over 5 years. Like a lot of nonprofits they had much turnover of staff and I worked with several people. The last person I work with and I had a great relationship, he sent me many difficult tasks that always needed to be done yesterday and I completed everyone on the same day they came in. Now sometimes this meant I had to work nights and weekends in order to get tasks done for them. But as a nonprofit, fundraisers are very important to their mission. So I always got their requests done a.s.a.p. Well, the other day I get a note after five years saying they were going to bring their website in house, and canceled their account. They said what a great job we have done for them and that we gave unbelievable support. Now this is where the title comes into play. I wanted to say if I gave you such great support over the years, they why do you cancel with zero notice. Why would you be building a site behind my back to replace the one we had without even giving me a whiff of your intentions?
No matter how angry you are, it is best to take a step back, and do the classy thing. Before you send the nasty email response, get up from your computer, or put down the smartphone. Take a deep breath. Then, thank them for their business, and wish them well. In the long run this will ensure your survival as people like this may actually refer you to their friends and colleagues.
The idea of bringing websites in house sounds good and sounds like you’ll save money. But ultimately what typically happens is the websites tend to fail, don’t get updated, and vital things like plug-ins and software are not updated. This of course can lead to hacks and other horrendous outcomes.
So unless you have a staff member with experience maintaining websites and software, think twice before bringing your website in house. We offer different plans to fit any budget, so you can do many tasks yourself but leave some of the heavy lifting to us. That way you can insure continuity and limit problems and downtime. (And in truth, we charge a lot less than having a full or even part time employee maintaining your website)
So as I said, stay classy, thank people for their business and even if you are angry, bite your tongue. Longevity will be your reward!
In 2023, client retention has become more crucial than ever before. With a highly competitive business landscape and an increasingly discerning consumer base, companies must recognize the immense value of retaining their existing clients. The costs associated with acquiring new customers have skyrocketed, making it more cost-effective and efficient to focus on maintaining relationships with current clients. Beyond the financial aspect, client retention fosters loyalty and trust, leading to long-term partnerships that can withstand market fluctuations. In an era where customer expectations are rapidly evolving, nurturing existing relationships allows businesses to gain valuable insights, adapt their offerings, and deliver personalized experiences. Moreover, satisfied clients often become brand advocates, promoting a company’s products or services through word-of-mouth and social media, which can significantly boost its reputation and attract new customers. Ultimately, in 2023, client retention has emerged as a strategic imperative, enabling businesses to build sustainable growth, adapt to changing market dynamics, and thrive in a highly competitive environment.
This Forbes article does a great job of discussing Client Retention: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/customer-retention-strategies/
I recently had a problem with a technology provider I do business with on a regular basis. I won’t mention their name, as I have been very impressed with their support over the last year and a half and I am not looking to harm their business or even leave them. I am just using a recent incident to make a point.
I ran into a problem where they had outages happening all the time. I went through all the normal channels, online chat, phone call, and emails.
At one point one of their managers sent me a nice note that they were looking into the problem, but then made the mistake of telling me that it might be time to upgrade my account at a cost that would be three times my current rate each month. The problem is, I had just upgraded my account within the last six months and was told this would handle my needs for myself and up to 50 accounts. (I only had 34 active accounts when the outage happened).
So this is when I came to think about this subject. I was having a terrible time with this company and rather than fix it, they tried to upsell me. Now don’t get me wrong, upselling as part of doing business. Companies want you to spend more money. I understand that, but as a small business myself, you need to watch your bills closely. Now, there are times your clients and customers need to upgrade in order to fulfill their needs properly. But, the time to try to get them to switch is not when you’re in the middle of an outage you can’t explain and when the customer is only using about 60% of resources in their account.
You learn a lot of lessons when you’re in the middle of a crisis, and how to handle things. Whenever I have downtime for any of my clients, I always put myself in their shoes and I never try and upsell them during an outage. Now there have been times where a client needs to upgrade their server as an example. Usually this is when they are getting a ton of traffic and need to be moved to their own dedicated accounts. But I always wait until things are back to normal and then recommend some options.
Bottom line: while up selling is a part of business, always wait for an opportune time. This is not when your clients or customers are unhappy with your service in the middle of an outage. Always think before you send that email, how would I feel when I received this note? Most people would be pissed to say the least as their sites are down and they are losing business. This is a good way to lose clients/customers.