Losing clients? Stem the Flow
Imagine a nice shiny bucket, steadily filling up with new clients you have been working really hard to attract through a variety of marketing activities. Your goal is to build long term – profitable – client relationships with them. With more clients your growth goals are looking good.
This bucket is every business’ dream.
The reality, however, is that often once those prospects have become clients, they don’t get the same level of attention as prospects. After all it’s really quite exciting to chase that sale and ‘land’ a new client!
As a result, your bucket of clients starts to develop some holes, with clients slowly but steadily leaving you.
There could be several reasons why they might leave, however you mustn’t give them any reason to leave – especially when you consider it costs between 7-15 times more to win a new client than it does to retain an existing client.
So what can be done to plug the holes?
- Measure what business is being lost – the more profitable the business being lost, the sooner you need to stop it leaving
- What types of clients are being lost – is there a common type of customer that would help to identify what is turning them off?
- Can you identify the reason why business is being lost? This could include:
- Bad customer service
- Missed delivery dates
- Not keeping in touch with existing customers, which makes them feel ignored and worthless.
- Products out of stock – lead time doesn’t suit customers / products not available in the customers’ ideal location
- Payment terms not acceptable to customers / no options for different payment methods & payment terms e.g. monthly instalments vs all up front.
- Cheaper Competitors
And there are probably others specific to your business. If you can’t easily identify why a certain client left you, call them and ask. And be grateful for the feedback, so you don’t repeat the situation.
- Analyse your results. What action needs to be taken to address these leaks? Often the action can be implemented immediately to start reducing the amount of business being lost.
- And it’s important to take this corrective action BEFORE you spend any more money on marketing to attract new customers!
If you need any help understanding why clients are leaving your business and you’re serious about building your business and keeping clients, give us a call on 01296 737823.
Contributed by Karen Moule, Captain.