I have been trying to track down a billing issue with a company for over a month. After sending yet another follow up email to my account manager today, I finally received a response. It started out by saying “So-and-So is no longer with our company…” The first thing that crossed my mind was how long has So-and-So been gone, and more importantly, how long have emails from his customers been going unanswered.
This reminded me of a time when I ran into an ex-colleague who said, “I was really getting upset with you. I was trying to solve a customer’s admin problem. I left you voice mail messages for weeks before someone happened to mention that you were no longer with the company.”
Situations like these are very frustrating to both your internal and external customers. Not only can you lose them forever, the frustrating part of it is that their loss was completely preventable!
When an employee leaves your company, here are 5 tasks that every manager should do immediately. When I say immediately, I do not mean within the week, I mean the same hour, or at the very least, the same day.
- Set an auto-responder on the ex-employee’s email address stating that the employee is no longer with the company and who the customer should contact now. Just deleting the email address all together will only create an automated undeliverable email message and create further frustration.
- Change the ex-employee’s voice mail message stating the same as the automated email message. Also, ensure that you change both the office phone voice mail, as well as the message on the company provided cell phone.
- Send an internal email memo to all employees in your company stating that the employee is no longer with the company and who will be handling his accounts until a replacement is found.
- Change all the office locks and security codes that the employee had access to.
- Change all passwords to all computer programs that the employee had access to.
It’s inevitable. One day a sales representative will leave your company for good. Be it by his choice or yours, you have to be prepared and act immediately to smooth the transition. If you don’t, your own lack of action could cause your company irreparable damage.
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Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections