What to Do When You Lose Your Biggest Customer
Dan Levenson July 25, 2017
It happens to the best of businesses. You suddenly lose that prime client or customer that you have been working with for the longest time—the one that accounts for a major portion of your revenue. In some cases, this customer may have accounted for most of your revenue, and now the loss seems devastating.
However, there are a few things that you can do to help regroup and get your business back on track.
Contact the Client
If you are not sure why the client left, it never hurts to contact them to see if there is something you can do to regain their business. At the very least, if you are unsure of the reason for them leaving, it won’t be to your detriment to gain some insight by contacting them to see what happened.
Sometimes businesses do not fully realize their client’s expectations and needs, or know of changes that may have occurred. This happens in some cases no matter how many years you have been with the client—things just seem to change one day when, in fact, the disconnect was there all along.
By that same token, there may be something going on that has nothing to do with your business. Either way, you won’t know unless you ask.
Focus on Current Clients
While losing your biggest client may seem devastating at first, focusing on your current clients may lead to someone else taking the place of the big client you lost. Even if it takes a couple of clients to equal what you lost, you can still make up the loss of income through other clients by going the extra mile. The last thing you want your remaining clients to think is that they are not as important as your bigger accounts.
It is also important to make sure that the loss of one client isn’t a pattern others may follow. Often, one client leaves due to their own personal reasons that have nothing to do with your other clients following suit. But if there is something your company is doing that may affect your customers’ willingness to keep working with you, you need to be in the know so that you can address it before other clients are lost.
Make Marketing Count
There is never a time when your marketing doesn’t count, especially when you have lost a major stream of revenue. Make sure to increase your marketing efforts and focus on filling the hole in your client list. There are plenty of free platforms to get your name out there so people can find you.
Paid advertising can also help in this regard if your organic marketing efforts need a little boost. It is always a good idea to use all your resources, so a combination of free marketing with paid marketing may be your best fit to start bringing new leads and customers in.
It’s Not You, It’s Me
There are some cases where you did absolutely nothing wrong to make a client leave. Sometimes it’s them, not you, and no matter what you did right, it wasn’t enough. Cases like this are why it is so important to have a good grasp of what your other clients need and not to depend on one client for your livelihood.
No company has a perfect record where they have retained all their customers for the life of their business. Things change rapidly in the business world, and only those who are able to adapt will come out on top. The important things are how you handle the loss of a major customer, how it affects your future business, and what you can do to minimize the effects.