Are You Holding Silent Clients in Contempt?
Do you think that a client who patiently waits for you to get work done for them without complaining is a happy client? In a world with lots of squeaky wheels and more demands than can be met, we treat the silent client with some contempt. In practice we may let their work slip further and further behind. Our thought processes seem to say, “Well, if they think this is important or urgent, they will let me know.” But this is willfully ignoring the facts about silent clients.
Many people do not like confrontation or conflict. They avoid complaining, or even appearing to be demanding. But, they are not necessarily happy with your service and they do not forget. Few people are masochists. The next time they need your services they will very likely be off to another provider who they hope will be more responsive and honest with them.
Now You Have Lost a Client and Finding the Replacement is Ten Times the Cost of Keeping One You Have
There is a much repeated saying in the sales world: “It costs tens times as much to find a new customer as to retain one you have.” Without any extensive studies, you can identify in your own experience how hard you have to work to find new clients. By contrast, the effort to do good work on time is far less.
What is the Life Time Value of a Customer to You?
When you factor in the lifetime value of a client (total revenues typical for your type of business), the argument for treating your existing customers with great attention to this value is absolutely compelling. Then, add to that the fact that you happy customers are your best source of reference and referrals. This life time value swells.
So, when you face a choice between getting work done on time and with superlative quality for the customer you have and some other use of your time, remember that silent clients frequently become lost clients. Lost clients are extremely expensive in lost future revenues that you should get. Lost clients are extremely expensive to replace. Lost clients will not only not give you referrals, they may even contribute to a negative image for you and your firm.