all have clients that love us. And I mean us. These are our favorite clients that we like to think about all the time. Clients like these are the reason we are in business and the reason we love our business so much.
Unfortunately, not all our clients are like this. We also have clients that, after a period of time, leave us and don’t continue using our services. We know that in business this is not unusual. Client attrition is a normal part of a healthy business. Clients get better, move forward, change their minds.
However, as a business owner, it’s important you know WHY these people are leaving. I am going to call these clients “inactive clients”.
Why are they not coming back? Are they using your competitors? A company online? Did you alleviate a pain they were experiencing – basically you did your job – and they have no reason to see you anymore? Was there something that upset them or made them uncomfortable that they didn’t want to come back?
What? This isn’t fun? Don’t stick your head in the sand! You need to know this stuff.
While it’s important to acknowledge that all clients don’t stay forever, you need to put a system in place to find out why.
You may not have ever thought about this before – why you lose clients. Maybe you’ve thought about it and didn’t know what to do. Maybe you are afraid to know or don’t want to know. It’s a touchy subject. What if they just didn’t like you?
The only way to find out why a client has become inactive is to ask them. I understand this can be uncomfortable, but you need to find out. And the best way to do that is to ask. And this is something that needs to be done on a regular basis.
Systems need to be put in place so that when clients do become inactive (and you need to determine when that is) you make a phone call and find out what’s going on. A less preferable option is to have your assistant call.
Saying something as easy as “hey, we haven’t seen you in a while and we’ve missed you. Is there anything going on? I noticed we haven’t seen you in a few weeks. Is there something I can do to entice you to come to visit us again?”
Be friendly and welcoming, but truly inquisitive as well. You may find there’s something going on in your business that needs your attention. You may also find that a client is experiencing some sort of hardship you otherwise wouldn’t have known about.
When you call to check on an inactive client you are doing several things.
You are showing them you care
You are telling them they matter and you noticed their absence
You are checking on the quality of your business. Both its processes and your employees.
You are being a caring friend and checking on the welfare of another. Do it. Your business will run better because of it.