Each agency tries to make clients cooperate with it as long as possible. Therefore, she promotes her services, giving dozens of reasons why you should stay with her. However, we decided to break this convention and analyze the motives for which customers decide to leave us. So let’s play open cards – after all, not every victory leads to a goal, but certainly every defeat approaches it. In our agency, only 4% of clients give up SEO services.
We have recently decided to perform an internal audit regarding the SEO services we provide. This study aimed to see what percentage of customers are not staying with us for longer. So we took to the workshop a little over 200 recently signed page positioning agreements. Our analysis showed that in the last year, 4.8% of clients for various reasons did not decide to continue cooperation with our agency. To check this statistics, we also examined the period of the last two years. The result showed that only 4.04% of customers left us at that time.
Why do customers resign?
The percentage result (4%) presented in the previous paragraph was an impulse to take further actions. Inside the agency, we asked ourselves the most probable reasons for clients giving up cooperation with us. Our audit brought the following conclusions:
A. No payment (10.18%) – this group includes customers who have not paid their debts, and we terminated the contract in these cases.
B. Lack of cooperation on the client’s side (25.66%) – in each case of cooperation with us, cooperation on the client’s side is an obligatory record. Its intensity is always dependent on the type of website, the access, rights and authorizations provided to us, and the number of guidelines that are sent at the very beginning of the contract for many projects. Therefore, this group includes clients who for various reasons did not want to cooperate with us, did not implement the suggested changes or did not provide us with the legitimacy to take certain steps. Therefore, it can be concluded that in this case the client did not give us the opportunity to implement the intended activities, which meant we had to terminate the contracts signed. Our work cannot be carried out when we do not have the tools to do it. Often, clients belonging to this group stop talking themselves. In such situations, we usually wait patiently and try to act, but if there is no response from the other side (and often it is even required) despite repeated attempts, we terminate the contract.
C. No work results (33.19%) – our industry is often unpredictable and everyone who has ever dealt with SEO knows about it. It should be emphasized that it is 33% but only with 4% of clients who terminate contracts, i.e. about 1.3% of all clients who signed contracts with Paraphrase-Online.com during the period. In this case, customers were not satisfied with the results of the work. This allegation most often relates to monitoring the position of selected phrases. It is worth adding that often this problem is the result of customer expectations regarding the inclusion of phrases in monitoring (it is a permanent element of every contract) for which the given page already has high positions. Some customers are very attached to this model of work analysis and it is difficult to argue here the positioner’s actions by increasing website traffic or visibility in global terms. There are also customers who have positions in the top 5, but terminate the contract because they want to have the top 1-2 themselves, which is not always feasible due to the search engine. Many of the clients qualified for this group also did not fully follow the guidelines we sent or simply refused to develop content on the site. Such cases constituted up to ⅗ of this group. Also noteworthy is the fact that 5% of all customers who resigned from working with us return to us years later.
D. Too high costs of the service (9.73%) – customers often stated that despite good positions, they are not fully returned from the investment incurred for the development of this channel and, however, prefer to spend their budget on testing other solutions. In this case, as the history of all contracts implemented by us shows, clients from this group often come back to us after several years of attempts to develop their e-business through other channels.
E. Closing of the site, change of management, bankruptcy of the company, end of contract (21.24%) – this is a group that indicates other reasons for leaving. The most common of them include situations in which the customer removes the page, the company declares bankruptcy, the owner or management board changes, which is focused from the beginning on cooperation with another entity. We have also qualified to this group in which the client after the end of the one-year contract decides not to extend the cooperation with us without giving a reason. This is most often associated with the reasons presented above or with the company’s strategy of testing the effects of cyclical change in positioning agencies.
Sweet kiss of the positioner – bitter kiss of the client
In our experience, the most important stage of cooperation is the time shortly before signing the contract and the first weeks of cooperation. Before signing the contract, the client receives from us all information regarding the implementation of SEO activities in the scope of the contract. He is also notified of what we will need from him to make the cooperation run smoothly. The first weeks after signing the contract are extremely important. During this time, we examine the site in detail and send precise guidelines to the client. Usually, after this initial stage, the client accepts our strategy and thanks to structured cooperation we operate in accordance with the assumed strategy. Unfortunately, as it happens in life, not all situations are perfect. There are clients who at all costs do not want to take certain steps or accept our guidelines or the changes we introduce. Such events limit or completely prevent us from taking effective action to increase website visibility. In our cooperation model, such a tug of war can end with us terminating the contract with the customer. The key is to understand our strategy at the negotiation stage, because our goal is not to sign contracts and unilaterally benefit from them. Cooperation is extremely important in our concept. If the customer does not want to make our changes, and there is no other way to achieve success, then this agreement does not make sense.
Visit to the dentist
To better illustrate this, let’s imagine that a John has a dental package purchased in a known network of dental offices. It includes monthly dental inspections, stone removal, sealing, root canal treatment and tooth extraction. One beautiful June morning, John’s wife Rachel prepared her husband’s unusual yet beloved seasonal meal – a fresh, peeled watermelon. Due to the fact that for several weeks it was extremely hot, before serving the dish Rachel decided to cool the juicy fruit. As soon as Mr. John sank his teeth into the red pulp, a terrifying moan sounded in the dining room. The reason for this cry was pain – something our hero has never experienced on such a scale before. Immediately after the incident, he went to the dentist, from whom he had a package purchased. He told about the situation and asked for a full oral examination. The dentist immediately stated that the cause of the pain was a small defect in the upper left trio and suggested putting the seal on immediately. John, who had never had dental problems before, refused to perform the procedure, without giving a reason for giving up the routine procedure. Time passed and John, in connection with permanent pain, became more and more unbearable man. He stopped dealing with his wife, whom he blamed for the whole situation, and at work he could not focus on everyday duties. He decided to go to the dentist again and agree to put on the seal. However, during the second review the doctor excluded this procedure. The condition of the tooth deteriorated enough to require root canal treatment. John was afraid of this option again and stated that he was not able to decide at this moment about such (in his opinion) a radical step. Before John left the office, the dentist asked him to rethink the proposal, because the procedure is included in his package and thanks to him he can get rid of unwanted ailment once and for all. The weeks went by, and John’s pain was gone thanks to decoctions of fenugreek and leek. Unfortunately, in December the pain returned with redoubled strength, and there was a huge swelling on the gums. John, contrite and completely deprived of the will to fight for interference in his teeth suit, he went to the dentist for the third time. This time the specialist was ruthless and said that in this situation the only option is to pull out the tooth. This time the patient realized that he had no choice but to submit to the will of the dentist. The tooth was removed, and John, in order not to scare his relatives with his incomplete smile, had to put on an expensive and not covered by the implant package …
Stages of SEO-destruction
So how does this translate into SEO? Unfortunately, quite a lot. Sometimes a customer who has a contract with us, avoids cooperation or refuses to accept even the simplest changes that aim to increase the visibility of the site. This is usually a straight path to problems. Unfortunately, often such situations can have a painful effect on the client’s business. That is why we as Paraphrase-Online.com do not wait until the “teeth” start to fall out. If we see that the customer does not cooperate with us previously agreed, we decide to terminate the contract. Our specialists are not for watching how a given site falls in visibility rankings, and subsequent competitors are ahead of it. We are here to actively work every day to increase the potential of the website in terms of SEO, which is why as many as 96% of customers decide to stay with us for longer.
5 types of customers
Based on many years of observations, we decided to divide customers into 5 types. We classified them in relation to the client’s adaptation to the set goals by accepting the implemented measures.
A. Partner – an ideal customer –This is a very aware customer. He understands that the agency is to help him achieve the given effect by undertaking the agreed actions. He responds positively to every cooperation or development proposal and tries to allow positioners the best working conditions. It should be remembered that he is not a conformist – he requires a lot, but at the same time understands that to achieve something, you need to put a lot of work into it. If you are heavily involved in the project and implement everything as agreed, then know that this customer will be very loyal and will stay with you for many years.
B. Visionary – to the goal at all costs –Customers of this type are only effect oriented. They are not interested in how and by what means you will reach his goals. In this case, you can even use illegal activities to accomplish your task as soon as possible. There is a high risk of contract termination!
C. Official – table and reports –It pushes targets into the background. According to its specificity, the measures we implement are the most important for it. He loves to send (preferably once a week) reports, statements and tables. Through constant verification of the implemented activities, the effects are only a distant mirage for him. It is only important how much and how well we carry out the package actions. Vive la package! Such a person often requires almost impossible reporting and translation from the modification of each line of code, which greatly complicates efficient operation. This customer will terminate the contract only if the agreed tasks are not carried out as agreed.
D. Individualist – everything in its own way –The funds turned out to be unreachable or failed for the client, and the presented goals are not satisfactory, so the client tries to introduce substitute activity, seeking solutions on their own. Sets new goals without informing the agency. His assumptions are unrealistic or do not comply with previous arrangements, and the measures are always considered inappropriate or too stripped down. Cooperation is difficult here, because reaching an agreement occurs only if you accept all customer requirements. There is a high risk of contract termination!
E. Rebel – for no reason rather than by choice –A rebel is a client who usually contests without reason the legitimacy of all actions, and all goals are pure abstraction for him. This type of contractor will not verify the activities carried out or settle you for the effects. In principle, it is not important what you do – at any time the day may come when the client will leave and will not give the reason for his behavior. If it already requires any results, these are the assumptions he invented and the work on the site is pointless and it is not worth wasting time on it.
Can you keep every customer?
In most situations this is possible, but sometimes you need to think about whether such activities should be a priority and whether they make sense at all. This applies to both the client and the agency. The statistics presented by us at the beginning show that a good work and a well-thought-out strategy can be reduced to an absolute minimum percentage of outgoing customers. In each case, partnership and care for mutual benefits are important. The parties appearing in a given contract should have the same goal – the success of the venture. At Paraphrase-Online.com, we try to meet the challenges posed by our contractors every day by implementing our proven strategy. Therefore, only 4% of our clients give up our services. In our opinion, with such statistics and the number of customers, there is nothing to be ashamed of.