Here’s How I Help Former Customers

It’s painful to lose customers.  

But we can make it a positive experience for everyone.

Get Curious & Vulnerable

Ask them why you’ve been fired.

Asking “why?” is the most painful part of the whole damn thing, because when we’re fired, we’d much rather dive into an Indiana Jones quicksand pit than face the fury of our former customer!

But brave the storm.  Ask them , “Why did you choose to leave me?”  Then listen.

Two things will happen:

  1. You’ll be empowered with helpful & actionable information about your business.
  2. You’ll have emotional closure on the relationship.

I’ve been surprised by responses to, “Why did you leave me?”.

  • Sometimes they’ve had a death in the family and are just too overwhelmed to do the work they’ve promised to deliver.
  • Sometimes they didn’t like my response times.
  • Sometimes they didn’t like dealing with my contractors.
  • Sometimes they didn’t like my communication methodologies.
  • Sometimes they were an Agitated Company and just not a great fit for me.

But every time I’ve opened myself up to criticism, I’ve come away stronger.  That’s being anti-fragile.

I Help Them Find a Better Fit

I try hard, and I work to be transparent and honest.  Usually people see & appreciate that about my work.

When it’s not a great fit, I assume it’s for really good reasons, and I try to help them find a better fit.

I do this through personal introductions to both humans and communities.

For example, I sent two introductory emails last week and connected a third person with a relevant Slack channel that was invite-only.

There’s any greater gift we can give someone who is struggling in business than to love and support them.

Toby Cryns

Toby Cryns is a freelance CTO and WordPress Guru. He also writes for