How To Prevent Client Churn in Professional Services

By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Apr 26 2023 read

Knowledge Exchange is a weekly series of educational articles that we encourage you to share and discuss with your colleagues and network. This month, we’re offering advice for enduring common business changes.

Your clients aren’t just buying a service. They’re buying the promise of an outcome. The longer they remain clients, the greater chance you have of delivering on that promise and bringing in more revenue — 67% more — than you would from a new client. 

Both the tangible and intangible effects of client churn have very real consequences. And at a time when many businesses are trying to lower customer acquisition cost (CAC) while dealing with market volatility and pressure to maximize labor spend, preventing client churn could be a problem solver.

Here, we’ll cover five ways to hold on to your valued clients.

5 Strategies for Preventing Client Churn

1. Make sure you have best-fit clients

You probably wouldn’t advise a friend to fight for a relationship that isn’t working. But how often have you had a client that’s been draining for your team and used up more resources than you could justify?

Having a bad-fit client can be a cost to your business and an unavoidable churn risk. Be careful only to bring on clients who will get the most value from what you offer, and you’ll reduce your overall churn risk in the long run.

How to find out: Ensure you’re taking advantage of Accelo’s robust CRM capabilities to track key details about every sales opportunity. Use custom fields to categorize prospects based on the factors that are most important to your business. This data will help you analyze trends and identify those who may not be the best fit before they ever sign a contract.

2. Ask — Don’t assume

Because of the strong relationships you build with clients, being a service provider can be a lot like parenting. You care for them and want to do everything you can to help them succeed. But even though you know your clients well, there are still things they keep from you. The worst thing you can do is assume you know how they feel.

Instead, go to the source. Ask for feedback regularly. Send out surveys with pointed questions, host post-mortem calls once a project is complete and, most importantly, engage in genuine conversations about what they’re going through. Getting real with your clients has a twofold benefit: 1) You send the message that you care, reducing the likelihood that they’ll leave, and 2) You gather the information you need to provide more targeted solutions to them and similar clients.

How to engage: Use Accelo to send automated emails to your clients at key moments in the client journey and ensure they have ample opportunities to share their thoughts. For example, set up a request for a satisfaction rating to be sent when your last onboarding task is checked off and an invitation to schedule a post-mortem call when a project is marked complete.

READ NEXT: Back to Basics: Build Stronger Client Relationships

3. Keep up with industry standards

If people need a particular service that you don’t offer, they can find it elsewhere. So, if an in-demand service, delivery method or technology is within your means to provide, consider offering or adopting it sooner than you may have planned.

While you shouldn’t make permanent decisions about your business based on trends, the things your clients request can be telltale signs of what’s to come. You need a plan for responding if you want your business to stay relevant as your industry, the economy and your clients’ goals and needs shift. Keep up with what’s happening in professional services by listening to podcast interviews with industry experts and using a competitor tracking tool.

➡️ If you offer B2B services, you could find yourself having to support your clients as they endure a merger or acquisition, layoffs or another significant business change. Being forward-thinking and quick to respond to their needs is particularly critical during this period. 

4. Provide perks for loyal customers

People tend to maintain connections with those who value them the most. The same goes for your clients. Those who have been around the longest want you to recognize their loyalty. Think about how good you feel when you earn a free food or beverage item from a restaurant that offers rewards. It’s because they’re acknowledging the value of your repeat business.

If you can’t offer perks or incentives, try experimenting with unique service packages or access to exclusive educational resources.

How to recognize: Decide how long a client must have been with you to be part of a loyalty program. Then, create a new invoice template in Accelo with a special offer or reward in the footer and set it up to send only to these clients. Record participation rates, then adjust based on how well it’s received.

READ NEXT: The Exclusivity Angle: Marketing Your Services in a Noisy World

5. Use data to predict churn risk

Churn is most devastating when it’s unexpected, but if you’re paying attention, a client’s decision to leave should never be a surprise. Just like with other types of big events, there will be a number of tells that pop up before it happens.

Instead of relying on gut instinct or an account manager’s suspicions, turn to data. It’s faster, more accurate and more impartial. When you’re using an end-to-end platform like Accelo, you’ll have the ability to store and customize the elements of client interactions that might indicate a problem.

How to forecast: Review the history of clients who’ve churned in Accelo. What did they have in common? Perhaps they had recently complained about pricing or experienced a change in leadership. Once you identify one or two leading indicators, set up trigger notifications to help your team know it’s time to dedicate some extra attention to their account to prevent loss.

All of these strategies are helpful, but ultimately, preventing client churn comes down to providing the highest-quality customer service possible. That’s much easier to accomplish when you make the most of Accelo’s powerful features.

Think your colleagues would find this article valuable? Head over to LinkedIn to share and discuss the changes impacting your business. 

Not using Accelo yet? Start tracking the factors of client relationships that could help you prevent churn. Get your free trial started or schedule a demo now.


About the Author


Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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