Business Essentials

How an SME can cope with losing a customer - Brought to you by NatWest

How an SME can cope with losing a customer - Brought to you by NatWest

Thursday, 10 September 2020

For a small business owner, losing a customer can be a stressful experience. FreeAgent has assembled some practical advice on how to recover from the loss of a regular customer.


A lost customer can impact a business in many ways, from loss of revenue to a loss in confidence for the SME owner. But follow these tips to turn disappointment to opportunity. 


Don’t overthink it

Try not to take the situation to heart. Whether or not your customer has told you the reason for their departure, you never know what might be going on behind the scenes. Take the time to remind yourself of the customers who really value you and your business. If you’re in need of a confidence boost, dig out any glowing reviews or testimonials you might have. Who knows? By doing so, you might even find some inspiration for a new business idea.


Remain professional

It’s natural to feel a bit annoyed when a customer decides to formally end your relationship. Try to make a conscious effort not to dwell on any negative feelings you might have. Depending on how the relationship ended, you might want to let the customer know that you appreciated their business. Thanking them for their custom will allow you to hold your head up high and leave the door open for them to return in the future. 


Look for opportunities to grow

Although it’s hardly a happy occasion, losing a customer creates an excellent opportunity for growth. If you’re able to, reach out to the customer and request any feedback that might help you and your business in the future. If, for whatever reason, this isn’t possible, try undertaking a bit of self-reflection. Were you slow to reply to the customer’s emails or did you perhaps overlook a key piece of feedback during your relationship? An exercise like this could end up providing you with some extremely valuable insight for the future.


Search for new customers

When you lose a customer, consider new ways of growing your customer base. There are lots of different ways you could achieve this: updating your website, giving your business premises a refresh and renewing your marketing efforts on social media could all be effective tactics. Sharing your expertise is another great way of finding new customers and followers. Whether that takes the form of blogging your cafe’s most-loved recipes or penning a Twitter thread of helpful copywriting tips, giving away a couple of trade secrets can be a great way of boosting your professional reputation.

No matter how you cope with losing a valued customer, remaining calm, composed and open to growth is sure to be hugely beneficial for both you and your business.


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