It’s Over. Life After a Client Ends the Relationship.

Win / Loss analysis clientsWilliam Shakespeare said it best over 400 years ago when he wrote one of the most iconic lines from Romeo and Juliet: “Parting is such sweet sorrow…”

Ending a relationship hurts. Shakespeare, no doubt, was not thinking about a business relationship when he penned one of the world’s most revered pieces of literature.

And yet, he certainly succeeded in capturing a shared sentiment when someone departs a relationship, especially a business one.

It’s always hard to see clients go. It is costly (you probably lost some reoccurring revenue) and hard to explain (what are you going to tell your boss or the salesperson that closed that account?). But truth be told, clients exiting relationships is part of the normal rhythm of business. Clients come and clients go.

The good news is: You’re not alone. We’ve all lost a client (or two) before.

The bad news is: They have already left and there is likely nothing you can do to get them back.

However, there is a silver lining. By learning the reasons behind why these clients departed, you can help preserve current relationships and retain your existing customers.

A Departed Client program’s purpose is to identify the real (and sometimes unexpected) reasons why clients are leaving. By learning from recently departed clients, you move from the “not knowing zone” to the “knowing zone”, and it is this learning that can help you prevent other clients from leaving too.

Engaging in a Departed Client program will allow your organization to:

  • Gain valuable insights into why your relationships ended and what might have been done to preserve them
  • Identify which competitors are being selected to replace your company and why
  • Establish what product and service enhancements your former clients sought when choosing a new provider
  • Evaluate specific strengths, weaknesses and gaps within your sales process, product line, client service delivery structure and / or your technology platform
  • Obtain candid, timely “voice of the customer” feedback

One of the best things you can do when a client departs is to understand why they did. Not to get that specific client back, but to help your existing clients stay put.