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Ex clients

What do u do

what do you do when clients leave? I’ve had a letter from a new agent completely out of the blue I really want to know why.  

 

Do you ask? Do clients tell you?  

 

Im a bit disappointed if I’m honest.  I worked really hard on this one, provided lots of analysis of the P&L, answered loads of questions etc. It’s just a small soletrade. 

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By Maslins
25th Jun 2018 16:10

Depends. Often when we lose a client, I know the relationship hasn't been great. Typically a mismatch between their expectations and what we can provide.

Occasionally one does take me completely by surprise, and it is disappointing like you say. In those situations especially if I felt we had a bit of a relationship with them, I would ask if they could give some feedback on where they felt we fell short of the mark. Obviously ensure it doesn't come across sulky or resentful...even though it's highly unlikely you'll get them back, still makes sense to part on as good company as you can.

If first you've heard is from the new accountant, you'd typically need to get permission from the client to respond anyway, so just make it part of that.

Thanks (4)
25th Jun 2018 16:23

Out of the blue?

You haven't lost a client . . . . yet!

You have an opportunity to turn things round if you want to.

I had such a letter from an accountant my client met at a party. It was purely speculative and when I enquired with the client she hit the roof. She's still a client.

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25th Jun 2018 16:49

Its always gutting to get sacked, especially when you have put a lot of effort into it.

But don't over think it, big glug of coffee, deep breath.

Pick up phone
Let client know about the contact
Listen

Some will tell you how it is, some will give it the "its not you, its really about me"

Always wish them well with the new accountants, and leave the door open for them to come back if the grass turns out not only to be no greener, but is full of moss and weeds.

Thanks (5)
to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
25th Jun 2018 17:29

And if it's a PITA client you can tell the new firm, 'I'm so pleased X has at last found an accountant they deserve.'

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25th Jun 2018 17:12

A few months ago I received a clearance letter, so I rang the client who said he wanted someone local - if that’s what he wants, I can’t compete with that!

I duly sent him an invoice for the 3 months notice period that he’d signed upto but not provided. A week later I get an email saying that it’s been discussed in the office and they don’t need a local accountant after all.

Very unusual, but goes to show sometimes a client isn’t lost even after they say they are!

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to atleastisoundknowledgable...
25th Jun 2018 17:26

Invoice for the 3 month notice period. Nice.

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to andy.partridge
25th Jun 2018 17:35

Try it. I ‘won’ a CCJ over it last year.

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to atleastisoundknowledgable...
25th Jun 2018 17:38

No thanks. It might give me a bad name. Sorry, I mean a worse name.

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to andy.partridge
25th Jun 2018 23:51

If it’s someone in an area or industry that I have/want clients in, of course I don’t. If it’s someone in the middle of nowhere, well it’s clearly laid out in my LoE.

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25th Jun 2018 17:24

You need the client's authority to respond so, when you ask for it, ask why they're leaving at the same time.

At least you'll know why they're going. If you're falling short, you have a chance to put it right - if not for this particular client, for others.

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26th Jun 2018 11:38

Yes we ask obviously in a polite way just for some feedback, good or bad.

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By thomas
26th Jun 2018 13:41

Thank you all for your replies. I've emailed the client to ask for feedback as it would be helpful to know. She's moved to a big high street firm and I do wonder why she thinks she will get a better service there when it will be an office junior doing most of the work! Her turnover is about £15k. I'm sure they will cost more than I charge.

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to thomas
26th Jun 2018 13:55

Delusions of grandeur....

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to thomas
26th Jun 2018 13:55

Wow.

Big high street firm with a turnover of £15000.

Hope she grows her business soon. if not, she won't get tax relief on her accountancy fees.

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By djn24
29th Jun 2018 10:35

If out of the blue, I will speak/email the client to ask if we had done anything wrong and get feedback so we can make sure we can improve our service for the future.
By email, it can be easier to have an honest answer as most people don't like confrontation. It's less personal and they can be honest even if it can seem harsh.

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02nd Jul 2018 11:09

In my view if one does not pick up the phone the chance of finding out why is very much reduced.

My advice is phone him/her ask for her permission to give the data and follow up with an email. Ask why she/he is leaving. As others have said do it nicely

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02nd Jul 2018 15:22

You have to contact the client to get their ok to release info so ask them at the same time why they are leaving. I always ask unless I know why. Be professional, give them your best wishes for the future and let them know you'd be happy to help in future. Over the years I got two back because I left the door open and one of them ended up introducing a few more clients.

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03rd Jul 2018 16:49

Big High Street firm, eh? (Three guesses). Pound to a penny they "advise" incorporation to get more fees. Hope not, but.........

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