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What would you do?

    • 13 posts
    January 17, 2007 10:21 AM EST

    I just found out that one of my clients is switching to another vendor.  I found out because she inadvertantly sent me an email that was obviously meant for the other vendor. 

    She was just in here yesterday acting like everything was hunky dory telling me about a job coming up.  The same job she told the other vendor she was looking forward to working on with!  I am really angry!  We have bent over backwards for her and on many occasions saved her job! Played here secretary! Done things we would not normally do for other clients.

    Just a few minutes ago, I received an email from her asking if I could copy some past jobs to a disk for her.  No explanation why.

    Since she had no intention of telling me I feel like confronting her.  Unprofessional or not, I cannot just act like everything is fine. I currently have 3 jobs of hers in house.

    What would you do?

     

    By the way, I read a lot of customer service rhetoric about going the distance for your client, going beyond the norm.  I have been in business 17 years, and I can tell you that sometimes it doesn`t matter what you do, some people are just jerks.

    • 13 posts
    January 29, 2007 9:17 AM EST

    Thanks to all who wrote in.  I`m not the type to let things slide.  It was bothering me so I did say something.  She said she wasn`t planning on switching.  She was just getting quotes from the other vendor to see how they compared to us.  When I pointed out that she had written she was looking forward to working with them after the current job she had in house with us, she said she didn`t remember saying that.

    If you are happy with us why would you do that? 

    The jist of is I don`t know if I believe her or not.  On top of that, she just brought in another job.  It is an add on of a job we had started in December. 

    I like to build relationships with clients.  I don`t like BS.  I don`t have a lot of tolerance for it.   In this case I am going to have to play it by ear.  I half believe the email is the true, so if she does leave,  I shouldn`t be surprised.

    Sometimes having your own business is no fun.  For every 10 clients you have that work with you, there is always 1 who`s sole purpose is the to give you grief because they think they can and that one person can ruin your day.  The fact that the other 10 don`t doesn`t help much. 

    • 33 posts
    January 18, 2007 9:36 AM EST

    I agree that getting to the bottom iof this s best.  However, be sure not to burn any bridges.

    I worked for a publising company for a long time and the competition is fierce.  We lost certain clients a few years back who went looking for cheaper prices.  A few years later, they were back because we offered them quality that they weren`t getting from their current vendor.

    Don`t say anything you will regret.  Offer that you would like to keep her business, but don`t whine and don`t burn the bridge.

    She may be back.

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    • 105 posts
    January 18, 2007 2:21 AM EST
    I would also confront her. I would also want to find out why after such great service and such a long period of time why she felt she could not be up front with you. I also agree with the other poster do not take it personally. You can not control how other people react. It may be hard for this customer to tell you after such a long relationship and what you have done.
    onlineeater2007-1-18 8:22:59

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  • January 17, 2007 11:40 AM EST

    I would tell her about the e-mail mix up and find out what`s going on.

    If she`s going with someone new, then why.  And find out how you can keep her business.

    Don`t bend over backwards [it`s hard to hold that position forever] but see if she has some reasonable concerns you can take care of in order to continue doing business with them.

    Good luck. 

    • 38 posts
    January 24, 2007 7:57 AM EST

    I agree with many of the posts here. I truly believe that honesty is the best policy, so talk to her about it- but not when you are overcome with emotion. I certainly think your feelings are appropriate, however, being able to approach the conversation calmly and objectively will be key to resolving the matter and maintaining your professionalism.

    You also mentioned repeatedly going out of your way for this client.  It is important to note the difference between going the extra mile and getting walked over for that same mile.  I learned that lesson the hard way and have come to realize the responsibility I have in choosing my clients.  So go ahead and go that extra mile- but for clients who will appreciate it rather than try to find what else they can squeeze out of you. 

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    Rosanna Tussey
    Owner
    New Mexico Candle Co.
    http://www.nmcandleco.com

    • 14 posts
    January 22, 2007 12:27 AM EST

    I agree that getting to the bottom iof this s best.  However, be sure not to burn any bridges.

    I worked for a publising company for a long time and the competition is fierce.  We lost certain clients a few years back who went looking for cheaper prices.  A few years later, they were back because we offered them quality that they weren`t getting from their current vendor.

    Don`t say anything you will regret.  Offer that you would like to keep her business, but don`t whine and don`t burn the bridge.

    She may be back.

    I absolutely agree with you , don`t say anything you would regrett nor burn bridges. I have learned that you often meet twice and it`s good to know that you have left ( or let the client leave )on a good note

     

    Good luck

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    Silvia
    www.justaphonecallaway.com

    • 621 posts
    January 17, 2007 3:46 PM EST
    I would tell her about the email you accidently received. It sounds as if you had a decent relationship with her. Ask her why she is switching and ask her why she came to her decision and what could you do differently to keep her business. Tell her you value her business ans would like her to give you a chance to make the business relationship a win win for both of you. If she still decides to go to another, then wish her well......she may be back. You did go out of your way for her and the next servicer may not. The grass is always greener, they say.

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