You may have heard a countless time that it is easier to keep former clients than to get new ones – but what if, your old time client suddenly developed a defection syndrome that made them jump ship to your competitor? Is there a way to win your clients back and keep them happy for good? This can happen to any freelancer and it can be a traumatic experience to deal with. While it may feel like a big loss, it’s also a sign that you need to realign your efforts and keep that trust engine working like brand new.
How Freelancers Can Win Back Projects They Have Lost
Last time, we’ve shared some light on how being different can make a whole new world of difference in your freelancing world. Reality bites back with a vengeance this time when you realize that clients aren’t always coming back with more projects, and it all takes a little nudge to win their hearts back. Did you know that 60% of clients leave because they feel unappreciated and unimportant? Just as freelancers need that pat on the back, your clients do as well. Have you been communicating that gratitude to your clients lately? It never hurts to start now and it’s never late to win them back by:
Quitting the Blame Game
Perhaps, it’s you.. and 1001 reasons why your clients left. Unless you ask, you can never know really and mostly, the reason can catch you off guard. So before you assume you know what exactly happened, get some quality talk time with your client and discover the real reason. The truth may hurt, but knowing what didn’t work will help you get one step closer to rebuilding that bond. Do you have a sincere desire to learn and improve?
Understanding Your Client’s Goals
Perhaps, your client thought that your services are not needed anymore so they decided to stop working with you. If you have been working for the longest time with them, you have a clearer picture of their business goals. Instead of accepting the inevitable, think of complementary services that you can offer, aside from the ones you’re doing right now. Do you have other skills that can be useful to your client? Can you offer a package deal that will help them achieve their goals faster?
Fixing What’s Broke
Sometimes, a client-freelancer relationship turns sour because one or both parties don’t want to accept that there is a real problem that needs to be fixed. If your freelancing service sucks, just deal with it, accept that there’s a problem and figure out ways on how to resolve the issue. There is always a better option and that doesn’t have to mean your client hiring a new freelancer to kick you out of your gig.
Thinking Out of the Box
In the freelancing world, we have always wanted to beat the discount mindset and the appalling rates that many are charging for the sake of getting more work. This doesn’t mean that you can’t offer a discount, especially to your long term clients who can’t seem to afford your rate increase. They would love to keep you if your services are affordable. Depending on your living expense, you can offer all sorts of promotional discounts, service bundles or even become a business partner earning commissions. It’s all about your creativity on how to make things work longer.
Keeping Your Relationship Alive ( and Kickin’)
Just because you’ve lost a customer doesn’t mean you can’t revisit them. Keeping your clients in your social loop may be the first step in rebuilding that trust. Just don’t spam them with junk emails and instead, keep them updated with what you’re working on. When people see your honest effort to improve, they will certainly give you a second chance.
And when all else fails, there has to be a good reason, even if it’s still unclear now. Just learn from your mistakes and move on. The next time you come along a new client, build that trust by starting with the most basic step of them all: Do what you say you will do.
What Do You Think?
Should freelancers make an effort to win back the clients they have lost..or, should they just move on?
Frank Eliason on Customer Service