You’re going to eventually lose a client. It happens at some point to everybody. What matters most is how you deal with it.
Instead of dwelling on your loss, move past it by quickly assessing what went wrong, debriefing your employees and continuing to follow up with leads — even during the good times.
What went wrong?
In order to determine what went wrong, you need to look back on your relationship with the customer. Remember this: The problems always begin before you lose the customer, so do you best to find them ahead of time.
You should have a process in place to rate any at-risk customers. If you lose a customer you didn’t classify as at risk, it means you need to strengthen your relationships with your customers.
After you lose a customer, you need to do an exit interview to determine what happened and how long they were unhappy. It takes planning to change IT vendors, so figure out when issues began.
Even after losing customers, stay in touch with them once a quarter. Many customers find the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
When and how you should tell your employees about a customer loss
When you lose a client, it’s important to keep your employees informed about the loss.
They’re going to want to know the details. Most importantly, they’re going to want to know how the loss will impact them. As their leader, it’s your responsibility to ease any concerns they may have.
As with anything else you do as an MSP, there should be a process in place for when you lose a client (remember: If there’s no process, you’re just winging it).
Ideally, your protocol should outline how you offboard customers and debrief the causes for the loss to your employees.
What can MSPs do to ease the blow of losing a customer?
You should always be prospecting — no matter the state of your business.
If you’re not, you’re leaving money on the table. When you do this, you’re not adequately preparing for the tough times, which are inevitable. Nobody is immune to down times; they’re bound to happen.
The best way to ease the sting of a lost customer is to have strong a pipeline of new prospects, so you can quickly replace lost revenue.
After reviewing where you can generate additional sales revenue, look at your overhead and payroll to determine if you can make any changes to ensure your business stays profitable.
If you can make cuts, make them, but don’t overdo it. You can't simply cut your way to profitability, and in some instances, striking too many operational expenses from your budgets can negatively impact your business in the long run — especially when it comes to future growth potential.
After losing client, the best thing you can do is pick up the pieces as fast as possible by assessing the status of your business, informing your employees and continuing to follow up on sales leads.