The DIY Customer

“We’ve decided to go in-house.” This is a sentence that sends shivers down the spines of companies that make their living in IT, advertising, training, printing and many other industries. What do you do when a valuable customer – a big part of your revenue, suddenly dries up? This is a true test of how customer-focused you really are.

The best approach is to take a page from Richard Bach, who wrote: “If you love something set it free; if it comes backs it’s yours, if it doesn’t, it never was.” After all, a customer relationship is exactly that – a relationship. And it shouldn’t end just because the money stops flowing. If a client has decided to start insourcing, your best strategy is just to be there for them. Help them with the transition. Be available and willing to guide them through the inevitable challenges they will encounter as they make the transition.

Why would you want to invest your valuable time and expertise for free, you might ask? What’s the payoff in that? The payoff, in fact, can be huge. Here are just a few things to consider:

1. The client might change his (her) mind about insourcing and decide to look outside again. If you have been a partner throughout the process, who are they most likely to turn back to?

2. There may come a time you need this client for a reference. The better a relationship you have with them, the better that reference will be.

3. The people within your client’s company might not stay there forever. If they switch jobs to a different organization, you want to be top-of-mind for them.

But, the most important reason for continuing to support your client after they’ve insourced? It’s simply the right thing to do, and it speaks volumes of your character.

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