When you are in a service business like managing websites, it is inevitable that once in a while you will lose a client. We understand this, and are proud at our retention rate which is in the very high 90% range. The thing people should remember is to be very careful when starting with a new provider, as the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But then you get there and the grass is burned out and looks like crap.
I recently had this happen. I had a client for a while and built them a custom site which was built 100% to the specifications of their designer. Fast forward a couple years and they left, unhappy with of all things the design (which came from them). Their other complaint had to do with the content. Funny, the content came directly from their marketing people. So the two reasons they left had nothing whatsoever to do with us.
Now, in their defense they were probably told by some quick talking salesman that he could achieve everything they didn’t like about their old website. Sure enough, I checked it out and not only did they not fulfill any of the things they thought were missing from our site, the site was built with a cheap e-commerce product and lousy looking theme. They basically went from the e-commerce pinnacle used by Nike and other world-class companies to the cheapo e-commerce platform chosen by Joe’s Hemp Jewelry Stand. No one in the world could possibly look at this website and say “wow that’s much better”.
So they went from a custom designed very cool site to quite frankly something that makes you want to quickly go elsewhere.
Now, I am a big enough developer to realize that there are times where somebody builds a better site than I may have. It has happened once or twice. LOL. I also have to say, there are times where personality wise you just don’t click with someone. And they will find any excuse to go elsewhere. My approach is to just wish them the best, and send them on their way. Nine out of 10 times they will come back as they realize not only is the site inferior, the service they are receiving doesn’t come close to matching what we gave them. We answer every support ticket on the same day. No one else in the industry comes close. This people find out very quickly when they’re waiting two weeks on a minor text change.
Bottom line: When you are thinking of leaving, make sure the company you are going to provide you with an ARL. This is an approved requirements list that they need to approve and deliver on. So they don’t come back and say “oh we can’t do that”. “Oh, that’s extra”. “Sorry that will take another three months”. Etc. etc.
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Seems pretty elementary right? You should respond to all emails and form requests and you should do it very quickly. As a rule I try to answer every email the same day. But you would be shocked at how many companies actually ignore emails and form requests. Remarkable, right?
Case in point, I have been looking at new car leases and have been emailing back-and-forth with various dealers. I actually had one dealer in the Florida area that I was very close to a deal with. We had agreed to a price and I just asked him how much more would it be to extend the lease for one more year. Now originally, he was being very receptive, and we had a deal just about in hand. He knew I was ready to pull the trigger, but suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth. Trying to think positively of the gentleman I sent him a follow-up email. “I have not heard back from you, wondering where we are. I’d like to finalize.” It has been two weeks and I have not heard a thing from my email or my follow-up. I have of course moved on. So what’s the result? Well the dealer lost a potential new client and a very good sale. So I can only think that either the guy was full of you know what and never had the deal, or he had some other angle he was trying to run. Regardless, he blew it. At very least he should of said, I can’t do that deal, but if you’re still interested, perhaps we can find a different deal that is acceptable. Okay, so maybe I would not have been thrilled but at least I would’ve respected him for getting back to me and telling me the truth. And I may have used him down the road or recommended him to my friends.
I can’t tell you how many times people come to me trying to increase their business. Almost always, I give them the same advice. If you want to do business via the web or social media you have to be responsive. People write you because they don’t have time for a call or just want to get a quick quote or perhaps an answer to a question. If you ignore your email and form requests, you’re basically kissing business goodbye.
So here is a good rule of thumb. Try and respond to all emails and form requests very same day. And, it doesn’t mean you have to solve their issue or even complete their request (if they’re current customer). But it just means you’re saying “hey I hear you, I am here and I’m on this for you.
A large percentage of business RooSites has gained over the years is due to our response time. People are shocked how quickly we respond to questions. Clients are amazed we turn around requests the same day on most occasions. This of course should be the norm, not the anomaly. Customer Service pays dividends, plain and simple.