Lessons Learned: What a Lost Client Tells You

Learn From a Lost Client

We’ve all lost clients. Sometimes it’s our fault. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s out of everyone’s control.

Regardless of the reason, there is always something to be learned from a lost client. Former or unhappy customers are an awesome resource of information.

Developing a system to review lost clients will help keep your business improving and growing, and most importantly prevent you from having to scramble if or when a client decides to leave you.

Here is a list of actions you can take when you lose a valued client:

Identify Misunderstandings

Sometimes, client loss is as simple as a lack of understanding on your client’s part. Do you clearly state:

  • The schedule of calls/emails
  • The requirements for scheduling a call
  • Reporting requirements
  • Length of your contract

Do you also have a system for staying in touch with a client who has gone quiet? Sometimes all it takes is a phone call to get your wayward client back on track. Many coaching relationships have been salvaged with a simple phone call or email.

So if you haven’t heard from a client in a while, pick up the phone!

Don’t Set Yourself Up For a Repeat

Your business should never be dependent on just one client.

Have you heard of the term client saturation? This means that if one client takes up 20% of your sales, you are headed for client saturation.

Your business depends on your client’s business. And this is not a spot you should be in.

Ultimately this means if they leave you, you may be tanked.

If you find yourself in the position where you’ve lost a big client and you’re scrambling to replace them or risk not paying your bills, be sure to look for more, smaller clients to replace that revenue. This way you will protect yourself from the same fate should you lose another client.

Perform an Exit Interview

Typically done when you leave a job, an exit interview is also a great way to review what went right — and what went wrong — during your coaching relationship. You’ll want to review:

  • The progress your client made
  • What specific advice or tools did not work for her
  • Any personality conflicts
  • Why she’s moving on

This is not the time to get defensive. Be open to her criticism (if there is any) and use the information to genuinely improve your business.

Bottom Line: Be Honest With Yourself

One of the most common reasons for client loss is that the customer is simply not a good fit. Focusing on lost clients can make you uneasy, and identifying what you’re doing wrong is not the most motivating part of any job. But remember that if you don’t try to take a lesson from the departure, your efforts may as well be in vain.

Maybe you suspected it when she signed up, or maybe not, but now that she has moved on, ask yourself:

  • What signs were there that she was not the right fit?
  • Why did you ignore any signs that were present?
  • How can you use that information to protect yourself from a less-than-ideal client in the future?

If you can identify a bad client/coach match from the start and decline the work (or better still, refer her to another coach who is a good fit) you’ll find you have a lot less stress in your day-to-day business.

Here’s the bottom line: Client loss happens. But if you can learn from each client, and use that intel to improve your business, then even a lost client can be turned into new profits.

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Content Marketing, Social Media, Editor of Marketing & Growth Hacking ~~ Love God, Family, Friends and my Pups!! http://annedivitto.com

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Anne DiVitto

Anne DiVitto

Content Marketing, Social Media, Editor of Marketing & Growth Hacking ~~ Love God, Family, Friends and my Pups!! http://annedivitto.com

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