Here are some steps to consider to help make sure your clients are well taken care of and stay with you when an employee leaves.
1. The letter. Immediately send out a letter alerting clients that their account manager has left the company. This lets the customers know that if they’re contacted by the employee, that he or she is no longer with the company."I have seen situations where the employee continued to take orders after he left," says Jason Shinn, of Michigan-based EbusinessCouncil.
2. Heads up. Give clients advance notice, if possible, says career coach and HR consultant David Couper. If the transition is positive, it's ok to include the outgoing employee in the process."If they're moving to another job, for example, and you understand why, then a three-way conversation might be appropriate," says Couper.
3. Who. For the transition, an executive should be named as the main point of contact for the client, says Couper."You want the client to feel like they're valued," he says.
4. The lunch. Set up a time to have lunch with clients. Now is your chance to ask the customers what can be improved on. You want to stay positive and re-establish relations with your clients. Also, focus on what you do right. Re-emphasize the advantages to working with your company.
5. Introductions. Introduce the replacement, talking about his or her experience and unique qualities.
6. The transition. Work out the transition plan, including responsibilities and how quickly you want things to happen. Plan on transition meetings, both with the clients and internally. Be sure to address what will not be done anymore. Regular communication is key to a smooth transition.
7. Over-deliver. Whatever the clients have told you on ways to improve, over-deliver, says Couper. You want to show them that you keep your promises, that their business is important to you and that your company is the best choice.