How to lose a client in 10 days
In the business world, one has to deal with a myriad of clients with varying beliefs and priorities.
Clients are hands down the most important part of a business, but do you know what else is important? Retaining a client.
How do you retain a client? By adopting habits that successful companies have. Your safest bet to stay afloat in the market is to make as less mistakes as you can, or better, no mistakes at all, especially if you are a start-up. Mistakes or no mistakes, every company loses clients.
Here are 5 ways to NOT be the Matthew McConaughey to your Kate Hudson, and lose a client in 10 days, or less! -
1. Over- promising
This happens when you are new to the market and cannot wait to land clients. The first one arrives and bam! You have made a promise you cannot keep.
While it is great to have a positive attitude while starting out a business, over-enthusiasm kills. Be honest with the customer about what and how much you can do, and by when. They will understand.
Remember admitting your limitations is better than losing face when you don’t deliver.
2. Under-valuing old customers
As your company attracts more customers, it is normal for you to forget about older clients, clients that you have had since you started out.
While it is imperative that you coddle your new clients, your old clients must have a permanent place in your business (and heart). It doesn’t matter whether you are still working for them or not, caring for your first clients always pays.
First, it generates trust that a company has been sticking around for that long with one client, that is, till the final deliverables.
Second, even if they are now no longer associated with you, they can be great for word-of-mouth advertising, bringing in more clients.
3. Sloppy Communication
You want to make your client feel at home, but you also want to be professional. While it is common to be nervous while dealing with a new client, it can be off-putting for the client.
You must always appear confident, giving the impression that you know what you are doing. Confidence is king. In a situation where you are knowledgeable but lack the confidence to put it forward, you will have lost a battle.
Your client must feel important, which undoubtedly, they are. Simple things, like putting your phone on silent so it does not buzz when you are in a meeting with them, or keeping people out of them room so that they don’t disturb, all contribute to effective communication, and ultimately, effective business practices.
4. Over-valuing yourself
While the third point on valuation was abstract, this one is literal.
Are you providing a service that is worth the money you are charging? Are you being greedy?
Customers may be the ones in need, but they are not fools. You cannot fool them into paying you for a sub-standard service. It is likely that they will pay, but when they leave, they leave for good. You will lose clients and any subsequent ones that may have followed them.
5. Not keeping customers in the loop
If you are a service provider, it is obvious that you are the expert. But your customer must be informed about your every move; it is their business after all.
Lack of transparency is one of the major reasons a company loses a client. Every decision you make must be deliberated with the other party, their reflections and insecurities must be considered.
Treat your clients with respect, no matter however little service they seek. Hiding facts from them will give them the impression that you are either trying to bypass them, or trying to hide a blunder you made, both of which will prove disastrous.
BONUS! (When you should lose a client)
6. 2 Businesses, 2 Visions
A company only came to you for help because you are in business for that very purpose. If you are in strategic consulting and your expert opinion says that a certain decision will drive the business to the ground, it must be taken as the final advice.
A round of discussions may be held to find a way around it. Sometimes the CEO of the company wants to proceed with the very idea you said was bad, that is when you know you are about to lose a client.
A difference in opinion is fine as long as it leads to productive brainstorming towards bettering the company. It is undeniably always best to leave the decisions to the experts.
As the head of a consulting company, as an example, you remember that it is, at the end of the day, their business, not yours. They disregard your advice, the very advice they paid for, it is their funeral. There is little you can do about it.
When the biggies say that the customer is king they are correct, well..., almost. With constantly changing business ethics, the definition of what a customer is, also changes. In spite of that, we cannot deny that the client is actually the center, of any business.
It is incredibly easy to keep a client to yourself, tbh, when you play your cards right.
Wishing you all the best to (NOT) losing you client in 10 days!