Why clients leave organizations
Every company hopes that its clients are satisfied and remain loyal. The CRM strategy is designed to achieve this goal. However, clients will come and go anyway. Why do they leave, and more importantly: how can we prevent it? It is in every organization’s interest to retain its clients as best it can.
To learn how to achieve this, it can be illuminating to determine why some actually left. Of course there could be any number of reasons; every client and every situation is unique. But there are a number of common causes.
Many companies have had to face cutbacks in recent years, either directly or indirectly. The economic recession made the need for budget cuts inevitable. There’s a good chance that this was the reason why a number of clients were no longer able to continue using your organization’s products or services.
Sometimes there’s just no way around it, but perhaps there are ways to retain the client, for example by offering the company a cheaper alternative or reducing frequency. Think of advanced technology that can be offered cheaper without a number of features. Or coaching sessions that could take place once every quarter rather than once a month.
Companies will first cut back on the things they don’t clearly see as adding value anymore. If you spot this on time, you may be able to bend the decision by demonstrating the added value you offer. This should be an ever-present part of your operations; show people often what the ROI of your product or service is. Because once the decision has been made, it is usually impossible to reverse.
Clients want to be able to trust you. They want to have a good feeling about you and your organization. Are they getting the best possible service at a fair price? This should really be the basic attitude of the entire company: always be friendly, transparent, and honest, from the outset and for years to come.
Don’t just build a relationship with your contact; build a relationship with your client’s entire organization. The people you're doing business with might be wildly enthusiastic, but what happens if they leave or the management decides on a change? Ensure that there’s trust at multiple levels of your client’s organization.
You're busy: you've got many, many clients. How on Earth can you give each one the attention they deserve? Still, you must! Clients want to have the feeling that they matter to you; that your company can’t go without them. So you have to keep working on that level of personal attention, giving them the feeling that you have a complete understanding of their customer needs, and approach them proactively. Of course, a CRM system is a very useful aid in this: it can help you map out where needs lie and remind you when it is best to approach a client. This way you remain visible, and you work on creating loyalty.
Customer needs may also change over time. Organizations are constantly evolving. Is it still possible to respond to those changing needs? The best thing to do now is to enter into a dialogue. Aim to think and determine together the degree to which your product or service contributes to your client’s ambitions.
There are sure to be multiple organizations that offer (almost) the exact same thing you do. So it can also happen that clients simply switch to a competitor. Make a continuous effort to determine how your organization can improve. How could you add even more value for the client? Apply your capacity to distinguish yourself. Of course, you could undercut your competitors’ prices, but are they really offering the same thing to begin with? Sometimes the product seems the same, but it turns out that, for example, there’s a billing for every support phone call, while for your product, all support calls are included in the price.
It might be a utopian dream to think that clients will never leave your organization. It’s part of doing business. But striving and doing everything you can to prevent this is certainly not an impossible task. It keeps your organization working on providing the best possible service and creating the best possible relationships. Good luck!