Breakups are hard, but when you work in an agency, losing clients is a reality that affects everyone. Client turnover happens to everyone. It’s important to know what to do when a client tells you they’re leaving and how to end the relationship on good terms.
Read our tips below on how to react to this news and end the relationship on good terms.
1. Approach the Situation with Empathy
When a client tells you that they’re leaving, it can feel very personal. After months or years of working together, it’s hard to not feel as if their decision isn’t a direct reflection of your performance. Because of this, It’s important to take a step back and assess the situation from a business standpoint.
There are many reasons why a client chooses to end a relationship (ex: budgets, leadership changes, company goals) and it’s crucial to understand the thought behind their decision.
Once your client tells you they’re leaving, schedule a call to understand what led them to this decision. Don’t start off by trying to convince them to stay; use this time to listen to their concerns and reasons for leaving.
Sometimes, you can salvage a broken relationship by listening to your client’s concerns. Oftentimes, however, the decision is out of your control.
The end of a client relationship may feel like you threw months of work in the trash, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Use the remaining weeks or days to wrap up loose ends and follow up on in-progress items.
Even though your client decided to move on, it does not mean that the work is over. Collaborate with your client to identify what they need to be in a good place before the engagement is over. Walk through the project plan and align on priority items to cross off your list before their exit.
If they are moving to another agency, keep your head held high and place the work you’ve done in a centralized location. This simplifies the transition for all parties involved in the change.
After the relationship has ended, regroup with your team to conduct a post-mortem meeting. Post-mortem meetings are a great way to review the challenges, wins, and losses of a project.
These meetings can take on different forms, but the goal is to identify what happened and how you can learn from it. Some questions to review during this meeting include:
- Were there red flags that you ignored that are now clear after reflection?
- How could you have approached this project in a better way?
- What learnings can you take from this relationship to apply to your other clients?
- Did the client need support that your team wasn’t qualified to provide?
4. Stay In Touch
If you ended the relationship on good terms, there’s no harm in keeping the communication lines open. See a relevant industry update that they should know about? Send them an email. Holding a webinar on a topic you know they’re interested in? Invite them.
The close of a contract does not mean that you can never speak to each other again or that you have to burn bridges. Continued contact keeps the door open for the opportunity to work together in the future.
At Seer, we’re lucky to work with clients who are as passionate about their data and customers as we are. Looking to improve your skills at building great client relationships? Check out our careers page for open positions in your area.