How losing a client improved my service!
Less time, less investment but better service, income and results. Sound good? That’s where I am at now but the start of the journey was a painful one.
I lost a client. A dream client, ideal to the T and the only client I had retained during lockdown 1 (Mar-Jun 2020). It came quite out of the blue, always had great feedback, loved my work and suddenly decided she was leaving, off to use a competitor who charged half what I do. I was shocked, I was sad, I thought about giving up.
Then I reminded myself how I would’ve approached this with a team member in the corporate world. I wouldn’t have told them to jack it in, head home and don’t come back to work! No! I would’ve worked with them to follow a quick process.
I reviewed everything I had done with the client and I was confused as the feedback had always been AWESOME. I removed my personal pain from the situation and looked at it as an outsider. I knew she hasn’t taken any new clients on since lockdown hit, I knew she was re-training and changing direction, I knew she had lessened her team and working hours. When I took this aerial view it made sense- any good businesswoman would’ve made the exact same decision.
Work with feedback
Not just work with it but seek it. I asked her for a final review meeting- one to make sure she got the most out of her last month with me and one to get some feedback on me, the business, the process everything!
You have to maintain a great level of service as the last few days of working with someone is what they will remember. With this client I upped my game, I created an awesome handover and spoke often with my replacements. I was graceful, professional but underneath I was feeling hurt and upset.
Following these steps, you know what? I no longer fear losing a client. I have an understanding that peoples business needs change, budgets change, their direction may be different and I might not be the best fit anymore.
At first, losing her felt like the end of my business, the pain was real, harsh and felt like the final straw. But weirdly it was the start of my business boost, I had experienced my client process truly end to end now. I had dealt with what was my biggest fear- and I hadn’t even known it was my biggest fear- I had lost a client but I hadn’t given up. I had survived lockdown and I was ready to get more clients, niche down and up-skill.
So, next, I worked on my process so I now have improved service offering with less time investment and I attract and retain more clients.
Firm Up Your Process
With the headspace and experience of the end to end process now, I formalised it. I highlighted step by step a customer journey the same as I would’ve done in the retail world. I know how I will attract them, get the discovery call, onboard them, grow with them and off-board them if that time comes.
Get that sh*t automated
Now I knew exactly what it looked like I was able to automate some of the steps so it’s slicker and quicker. Top tips here-
Calendly – keep some slots for discovery calls and send out the link- your prospect then chooses the time rather than many emails/DMs etc going back and forth- you won’t lose their interest.
Zoom- integrate it, know it’s been sent, one less email, one less task.
CRM- I have a ‘track’ on Capsule that walks the customers through these steps so I no longer had scraps of paper, have to check DM’s, IM’s, email, snail mail and carrier pigeon post to remind myself where I am up to. AND more importantly, I don’t forget to follow up and don’t lose those ideal contacts.
Think about the nice steps.
Client welcome packs, gifts, birthdays, reviews, loyalty rewards etc etc. How can you be a step ahead, better than the rest and maintain an awesome relationship with your clients? My welcome pack is in Canva and set up so I only have to change 1 paragraph. It used to have the dates in and was an editing nightmare which led to mistakes and faffing!
Keep it simple.
Do something that is simple, that is you, that has as few steps as possible that you know you can deliver on. Don’t over promise and under deliver- we’re looking for the opposite of that.
So, knowing your FULL client cycle means you are on top of it. You know what you are doing next and you don’t fear the unknown- as there isn’t any unknown! It’s your business, you’re the boss so do sh*t your way- trust me. It’s the only way you will enjoy what you do if you don’t enjoy it how the hell will you serve your customers in an amazing way?
Need help setting up processes and getting rid of soooo many customer emails- let’s have a call 💻