No one wants to lose a new or reoccurring client. Sometimes it is easier than you might think. One of the worst parts is you may not even know if or how you are doing it. Your greatest assets are your clients. Clients give you regular business and can recommend you to others. Many of the clients can get lost in the hurry to find new ones. Excuses number in the thousands even though the results are the same. As part of our Houston Bookkeeping Tip series, here are the fastest ways to lose clients.
1. Poor Communication
When a client reaches out to contact you, it is rarely to chat. A pressing issue that needs your attention is usually the reason. Clients will be tempted to call someone else if they get your voicemail. This is why it is essential to answer all communications instantly. If the phone rings with a client’s caller ID, pick it up. You can even tell them that you will call them back in X minutes if you are in the middle of something. Having your client’s info programmed into your landlines as well as cellphone is also a good idea. The same holds true for answering emails, contact form fills, social media messages, etc.
2. Test and Retest Means of Communication
Often the most common ways buyers look for sellers is to visit their site. If you are lucky, they fill out the obligatory contact form. Your contact form worked perfectly when the site was created. Did you know it can stop working all by itself? Reasons for this include but are not limited to:
- Changes in the web – If your CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc) has been updated.
- If the plugin changes – Your plugin /tool (Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms, etc) has been updated.
- The email it points to changes – Contact forms are often programmed to alert to a specific email. If this email changes, the form will not go through.
- Changes to the website – If someone inexperienced has edited your site, they may have changed the contact form inadvertently.
Your contact form is important enough to test and retest on a regular basis. Your potential client will certainly contact others.
3. Marked as Spam
Although email is an efficient way to communicate, it has its drawbacks. Different email clients have different settings. Your email may be marked as spam. Scenarios like this are even more likely if you use the same email or even the same domain name for an email campaign. Mail clients may be able to see mass emails coming from you. Ending up in the spam folder could be the result. Advise clients to add your email to a safe sender list or similar. Likewise, be sure to check your junk folder often to ensure your clients don’t end up there.
4. Guarantee What You Can, Estimate What You Can’t
Each business and service is different. Many business are still able to make some sort of guarantee. Guarantee on price, time of delivery, warranty, etc. can all fall into this category. A great way to get clients is to say what you are going to do, then do it when you’re supposed to do it. Not sure when or how much it will cost? Give an estimate. Update your client as quickly as possible to any changes in the work.
5. Bill Wisely
Billing should be a non-issue if you have given a correct quote for price and time. How and when clients will be billed should be part of the discussion during the hiring process. Advise them of the forms of payment you accept. If you offer payment plans, let them know. You can even offer incentives for early payments. Clients who are billed hourly fall under the same rules. Hourly employees who need help on billing can read this great guide on how to do so.
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