What to Tell Your Clients When an Employee Leaves

When client-facing employees leave, it can feel like you’re starting over with the customers they serve. But on the upside, it can be your opportunity to reiterate your company’s strengths and your commitment to quality service.

A little extra time and attention goes a long way toward ensuring you retain the affected accounts. It starts with early notice of the employee’s exit and includes your direct involvement in the transition.

And central to a successful transition is your renewed commitment to service – as though they’re a new account.

Here are some steps that can help ensure your clients are well taken care of and stay with you when an employee leaves.

1. Give clients advance notice

As soon as you become aware of an employee’s plans to leave, immediately notify affected clients, explaining that the employee is leaving your company. Reassure them by emphasizing that your commitment to responsiveness and overall client satisfaction has not changed.

If the transition is positive, it’s okay to include the outgoing employee in the communication process. For example, if he is moving to another job and you understand why, then a three-way conversation might be appropriate.

This notification also lets the customers know that the employee is no longer with the company. That way they know not to submit orders to or accept business from the departed employee.

If your employee leaves for negative reasons or the client has heard rumors, be prepared to answer your customers’ questions as truthfully as possible, but remain upbeat about the situation. It’s okay to say that the employee is leaving to pursue other professional experiences or endeavors.

In some cases, your competitors may recruit your employees away due to the relationships they have already established with your clients. If this happens to you, immediately pull your team together and review the accounts assigned to this person, evaluating the at-risk level for each of them. Notify all of the clients in writing and meet face-to-face with those you think may be at-risk. If you can tap into your relationships with key decision makers at those companies, you should be able to retain the accounts from the departing employee’s book of business.

2. Assign backup support

For the transition period, name an executive as the main point of contact for the affected clients. You want these clients to feel like they’re high priority.

Depending on the nature of the work, you may also want to assign a subject matter expert to the account, especially if it’s going to take a month or longer to replace the employee.

Brief this backup person on any insider tips related to working with this client. For example, go over communication preferences and major events throughout the course of the relationship. Also, be aware of any deadlines promised and reassure the clients of your company’s commitment to quality and responsiveness.

3. Meet with your clients

Now is your chance to ask, “What can we improve on?” Set up a time to have coffee, lunch or another meal with your clients. You want to stay positive and re-establish relations with your clients. Also, focus on what you do right. Re-emphasize the advantages of working with your company.

4. Introduce the replacement

Once you find a replacement, be sure to introduce him or her to your clients (face-to-face if at all possible), and use the meeting as an opportunity to talk about how the new employee’s experience and unique qualities will benefit them. For example, if the replacement has worked in or with your client’s industry in the past, point that out to build trust and common ground that can help nurture the new relationship along.

5. Outline the transition

Work out a transition plan to move the client from the backup support to the new employee, including responsibilities and how quickly you want things to happen. Plan transition meetings with the clients and internally. Be sure to address what will not be done anymore. Regular communication among the entire team is critical to a smooth transition.

6.  Over deliver

Whatever the clients have mentioned to you about ways to improve, aim to over deliver. For example, try to meet a deadline early, provide a complimentary report or surprise them with a discount if possible. You want to show them that you keep your promises, that their business is important to you and that your company is still the best choice moving forward.

Could having a little extra HR support in situations like this be beneficial to your business? Learn more about HR outsourcing by downloading our free e-book, HR Outsourcing: A Step-by-Step Guide to Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs).

cindy s.

Does anyone have a sample letter they have used when an employee leaves an Agency to notify the insured/client of the change? Any help would be appreciated.

Insperity Blog

Hi Cindy, Thank you for your question – happy to help!

Here are some tips on what to write in a letter to clients when their account representative leaves the company:

1. Keep the letter brief, to the point, and concise
2. Be sincere; not too flowery
3. Do not have to provide a reason for their departure
4. State that the employee is no longer with the company
5. Include the effective date of transition to the new rep
6. Inform the client of their new contact person and how they can be reached
7. Let the client know that their needs will be met and you expect the transition to their new rep will have no disruption in service
8. Thank the client for their continued business

We want to keep you informed about important matters at (company name}. Your {title} {name} is no longer with the company, effective as of {effective date}.
We have selected {title} {name} to assist with your {type of} needs. {name} may be reached at {contact information}. Please be assured the high level of service we have been providing you will continue without interruption.

We value your continued business and encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have.

Lisa H

Good morning, some advice, last night at 5pm our ad vertising manager quit…”moving on”, how do I figure out his contacts, and increase morale? Rumor says, he was telling recent hires that we were a bad company, and that he was sorry for lieing to them when they came on. How do I stop the morale from plummeting? What should I say to his advertising contacts, and how do I contact them? Much less, find out who they areally? Feeling abandoned….Lisa

Insperity Blog

Hi Lisa, To clarify, you are asking 1) How to bring up morale in your workplace following this situation and 2) What to say to the clients that this individual formerly worked with – Is that correct?