Off-boarding clients. It's something that's not often spoken about when we talk about running ads for clients. However, it is inevitable for various reasons.
You are going to be off-boarding clients. Whether they've had a change in direction with their Facebook ads or their overall strategy. Whether they've decided to pause Facebook ads because they're just not working, despite all your best efforts, things just haven't worked out. Or maybe, they've run out of budget and various other things. It will happen.
So how can you provide a stellar off-boarding experience and one that honors you and your time as well?
A question that came up in my Elite Ad Manager certification recently was for one of our ad managers who had off-boarded a client, and the client had asked them to meet with the next agency to hand it over. What are the expectations and the boundaries? This ad manager nailed it. She hit it all spot on. She had everything together and said, “Sure, I'd be happy to do that. My rate would be…” and this is what the rate was, which was fantastic because it was outside the scope of work.
I know for a lot of us, and especially if you may be off-boarding a client because things didn't work out and you feel bad, you would do that for free, but you do not have to. That's not honoring yourself. It's not honoring your existing clients to be able to do that. You should be paid for your time because that is an extra service.
So if a request like that comes through, I'd strongly suggest that yes, you do have a price that you would be putting on that. Yes, I can do a half-hour call, and it would be this much.
That's one thing to do if you do get a request like that, but to help avoid that, have everything documented and laid out when off-boarding your clients. I typically have something that I call spreadsheet sanity. That's where we'll have the URLs, the events that are firing on each of the pages, and the campaigns that are set up so that they can all be handed over. Not just to someone else when we're off-boarding, but internally for our team so that we can refer back to that. We can say, “What’s the conversion event here?” We then go and check, and it's all there. And someone else would be able to come in and know exactly what's going on.
Having a spreadsheet that shows what's going on in the funnel, what events that you're all firing for in one central place is great. So that can be handed off to somebody else as well.
Also, a Loom recording will help explain the campaigns that are all set up. This is our top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel, and bottom-of-funnel retargeting. So having all of that in place to do the recording and hand that over to your client.
That's where your client, if they're going to run ads themselves, or if they're going to another agency, that's what they can be referring to. You do not have to jump on and have a call with them to explain all this. You can just do this in a Loom video while you're still under your agreed ad management time period.
Typically there'd be a 30-day off-boarding process. That's when you can get all their files and everything ready in that time to be able to hand them over nicely, rather than them just going somewhere else and having to start from scratch. Again, this shows your client that you had their best interests at heart.
I'm not saying give away all your IP (intellectual property). You'll have ads, copy, and various other things that you will especially be working with. That's fine. You don't have to hand that over. The next agency (or whoever is going to be running the ads after that) will need to know the conversion events that are firing in this funnel, what pages are being targeted in this funnel, and possibly, how much traffic has been going over here and the conversion rates.
Getting all that information together, ready to hand over, will do you a favor. It will also leave your client feeling that they have been well looked after, right up to the end. Instead of you saying, okay, we're going to part ways and them feeling like they've been forgotten about.
Another great thing to do when you are off-boarding a client is sending them a gift. It’s going to say it's been an absolute pleasure working with you. All the best with your new ad management service or with your ads in the future, and that's going to be so valued by them.
Now, when you do off-board a client, unless it's been a really ugly situation, which, unfortunately, yes, can happen. You don't want to slam the door closed, so this is where having everything done up nicely to off-board them comes in. Explain to them all the information they're going to need, and leave them with a lovely little gift. That's just closing the door with a little click. It has not been slammed, and we're never going to work together again because what often happens is they may think the grass is greener on the other side. So they may go off and try a new agency.
This is honestly happening a lot post iOS. Campaigns aren't working as they used to, and managers are doing all they can, with the client suddenly thinking that they're not doing the best they can for me. So they start sussing out other agencies, talking to other people, and unfortunately, they’ll be told, yeah, we can fix that. So they go, “Awesome,” and run over to the other agency only to find out two or three months down the track that they're getting the same result or worse.
What do they do then? They come running back to you. The one who was running their ads. Saying, “I'm sorry. They're no good. This has happened. Can you please do my ads again?”
That happens so often. That's why we want just to close the door with a little click. Have everything all tied up, neatened out, and sent over to them. That way, if they never come back, everything is fine. They've been well-served right up to the end. But if they end up looking for a new ad manager, they're going to be coming back to you because you've looked after them so well the whole way through, and the entire off-boarding process was a beautiful experience.
So we don't want to burn any bridges. We want to make sure that they're off-boarded as professionally as possible. Always keep that door opened for them to come back in future, unless things didn't go well at all. If that's the case, if they end up coming back and want you to run their ads, you don't have to say yes. You can say, “Oh, look, I'm so sorry to hear that didn't work out for you. Unfortunately, my books are full at the moment, and I don't anticipate an opening for at least the next four to six months”, or whatever it may be.
You do not have to take them on board again, but at least you know that you have done your absolute best. You've off-boarded them with excellence, and you can just wash your hands of it all, so to speak.
So providing your clients with excellent off-boarding experience, being clear on scope, of what is, and what's not included. If you're asked for an additional call after you're finished, then that's not on you. That's where you can charge for that. Wrap everything up for them, give them the information they need. Do a Loom video recording that you can give to them, and they can give that to whoever is going to manage their ads next. Also, send a little thank you gift because it's been a pleasure working with them over this time and wishing them all the best.
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