No matter how long you’ve been doing SEO, you’ve probably encountered the unhappy client. Some of these clients we are actually happy to get rid of and won’t put up much of a fight. However, some of these clients are a big loss to the company, and we will do what we can to try and keep them. If you have a client who seems unhappy or just wants to leave for whatever reason, here are some things you can try and do in order to keep them around.
1. Show them the great results you’ve produced.
Hopefully you’ve been giving them weekly reports all along, but this doesn’t always translate into meaningful data for the client. Oftentimes, clients won’t even look at these reports. Of course, if you forget to send one, then they will make a big deal about it.
If you have a client who is talking about leaving or stopping the SEO services in favor of something else, then really take the time to explain how you have helped them. Show them the results you have produced. Explain the number of spots they have moved up in the search engines and the estimated increase of web traffic they should have seen. Put the progress in terms they can understand, and show them the potential progress if they stick with you. Remind them that SEO takes patience. However, don’t be too pushy about it. Make sure you are generally concerned about their website and not just their monthly payment.
2. Offer them a deal.
If a client is about to leave and you really want to keep them, then it might be time to offer them a break. Tell them you will give them half off the next month is they agree to stick around for a couple more months. While that pay cut may hurt at first, it’s a lot better than losing the whole check. If they don’t take this deal, then you could even offer them a free month. Say you want to give them a break because they have been such a great customer. You can also offer them referral bonuses or other discounts. Show them that you are willing to give them something back.
3. Explain the downside of leaving.
Rather than focusing on what you have done, explain what could happen if they quit the SEO now. Yes, you have made some progress, but maybe they still aren’t ranked as high as they want. Or maybe they are ranked at the top and they think they don’t need SEO anymore. However, if they stop SEO after all the linking they have been doing, they might slide back in the rankings. They could even get a Google penalty as a result of the big drop off in link building. Explain all of this to them. Be sure you present it in the best interest of their business rather than in your best interest.
4. Offer more services
Instead of offering a discount, try throwing in more services without charging more. If you haven’t been running their social media accounts, offer to do this for them. Write a few extra blog posts or make a video for them. Do something to show you are willing to go the extra mile to get them ranked.
5. Warn them about cheaper SEO
If they are leaving you for another SEO company, ask why they are choosing that company. Try to find out how they discovered that company. Warn them against switching to companies that seem to offer rock bottom prices. Also warn them about overseas SEO companies. Don’t make it sound like you are fighting for their business. Be upfront and say that you understand that they want to switch services, but make sure they understand the risks. If you show that you care, they will be more likely to stick with you in the end.
Of course, there are some clients that you will be happy to hear they are leaving. We’ll talk about those clients in an upcoming post.