losing clients customers the right way


Uhm.odds never n our favor



You read the headline correctly … this is about how to lose a client <or customer> the right way.


No, no , no … this isn’t about purposefully losing a client … but rather if you are going to lose a client or customer <and you will> how to lose them the right way.

The ‘right way’ being on your terms.




There is a paradox.


If you manage a client on your own terms … and those terms typically are associated in some for or fashion with meeting business objectives <and – let’s assume – at least some iota of servicing to meet those objectives> … then … well … how can you actually lose them the right way … or lose them at all if you know your shit & are doing the right thing?


Well …. nuts.

Here is a business truth.

You can do the absolute right thing … and often it is even the best thing <and things> for them and you … and you will lose a client or customer.

Sorry. That’s … well … business.


You can tear your hair out of you want but don’t invest the energy. Just accept the fact you cannot always control the decisions made by others. You can influence them … but ultimately it is going to be their decision.


So just face it.


opinion funnyjunkIf you are in the service business you are going to lose clients & customers.

It will happen <whether you want it to or not>.


If you accept his … even grudgingly … you may be able to stop chasing that ever elusive thing called ‘happiness’ <as in ‘client happiness’> and lead with what makes you happy.


Uh oh.

What will make you happy <as a business owner> doesn’t appear to be what people want to talk about in online advice.


Google ‘losing customers’ and there are a gazillion advice articles on ‘how to avoid losing customers’ and all they want to tell you to do is … well … do whatever it takes to make your customer happy. Nothing about what you may want as a business person.

I  imagine the advice is useful … but I tend to believe most business people already know this kind of shit <oops … advice>.


I found tripe like this:


“… you can’t afford to do anything but treat each of your customers the very best way possible. Give them all the love, care, attention and service you can. Kill them with service. Go overboard. Make it nearly impossible for them to even consider doing business with anyone else but you, regardless of price, location, convenience, or any other reason. Become not only the preferred place to do business with, but the only consideration your customers, clients and prospects have.”


What tripe.

And what a suckhole you step into if you follow this shitty advice.



I imagine the gobs of tripe online is being created because most business people spend far too many sleepless nights worrying about ‘when’ and not ‘if’ they are going to lose clients and customers.


Anyone in business understand that customers, even long-term customers, are maddeningly fickle.


You can invest wisely building whatever value proposition you want but if they want to save money that means they may leave your company to save money.

What may be worse <and even more maddening>?
You’re always looking to keep your customers happy, you are always finding new customers <supposedly making them happy if they actually choose you> and you keep your business thriving in any type of economy possible <and maybe one of the most undervalued retention tactics is actually keeping other clients and customers on your client list … people like to be with a winner> … but … insert a HUGE ‘uh oh’ here … here’s an unfortunate thing … sometimes people are unhappy and leave and you don’t even know it.


Somehow they just get their feelings hurt over some minutiae. Or they feel slighted by some thing which in the overall scheme of things is miniscule. Or they have something completely unexplained happen.

Doesn’t matter. They leave and take their business elsewhere.


And you never know the real reason. It just happens.


You can point fingers at staff, you can yell & scream and play ‘what if’ and say ‘why didn’t’ … but you know what? It just doesn’t matter.

It just happens.









And it hurts.


Losing a client or a customer hurts.


It’s personal.


I disliked it when running business.


I dislike losing a subscriber on my site.


Here is the only thing I know for sure to help ease the hurt <beyond doing the simple good business basics of service> … if you were doing what made you happy and did what you believe was right and stayed true to yourself … well … at least you lost them ‘your way.’

You weren’t sucking up … or being someone you are not and they said ‘no thanks … you weren’t sucking up enough <even though you were already sucking so hard your cheeks hurt>.’ You weren’t selling out and still lost them.


I wrote about this topic awhile back and used a famous advertising agency owner’s quote:


“… because they are afraid they compromise their principles. They are so scared of losing the business they give the customer what they think they want rather than what they know he needs.” – Stephen Martin


<the post – Stay True: https://brucemctague.com/to-do-or-not-to-do >


Look.business thriving or

You are going to lose clients. You are going to lose customers.

You may as well not lose yourself whenever it happens.


I am not suggesting being stupid with your service or being callous and indifferent … but I am suggesting when you lose them … you want to know that it was simply because they did not want what you had to offer.


So you draw a line in the sand … you take a stand … and say “love me as I ams or leave me.”


To be sure … you have to meet your end of the bargain.

You have to deliver what you “ams” day in and day out. No gray … just the black & white of what you promise.


But at least when you lose them you don’t spend a shitload of energy running around seeing how else you could suck up to get them back.

You don’t even throw a lot of shit <at people or at walls>.

You just keep on keepin’ on.


You lost them maybe because they didn’t appreciate what you were doing or offering.



Ain’t much you can do about that.


By the way.

The other HUGE benefit of thinking and running your business this way?


A shitload of the time they come back.


Because sucking up gets old … and the majority of the time the businesses who excel at sucking up and ‘constantly loving every customer so much so they are selling their own soul’ usually … well … suck.  Ok. That was harsh. Maybe it is better said … ‘they have no soul.’


And ex-customers come back because … well … you don’t suck <and you have a soul>.


Maybe it is better said … at least you delivered day in and day out what you promised you would deliver <and you have a soul>.


I mention soul because in business you can very quickly lose your soul through fear … fear of losing customers & clients. I imagine my real point here is that you will lose customers & clients … don’t lose your soul too.


Anyway. To close.

Maybe this is all simply about the circle of business.

business and worrying


If you stay true to yourself.

Clients may <will> leave … but they circle back because ‘absence makes the eyes clearer.’

And you gain new clients because … well … you are true.

And you have a soul.



Everybody circles around the campfire. The campfire being your company.


Aw. Whatever. I am done rambling.

Suffice it to say … you are going to lose clients and customers. Lose them your way.



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Written by Bruce