Never, I repeat, NEVER act like a big jerk when canceling your services! You have no idea when you may need your former marketing company again in the future and you don’t want to burn any bridges. Even if you had a terrible experience, rise above it and be as professional as possible. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need a log-in password re-sent to you but no one will return your calls or emails because everyone there remembers you as the crazy former client who threatened to burn down their building. (Yes, this does happen.)
Acquire Digital Assets
Before you part ways, be sure that you have access to or ownership of all of your digital assets. Check to ensure that you can get into every area your marketing company had access to – your website, social media accounts, blog, PPC accounts, your project management platform, etc. This is a really important step because once you stop paying your marketing company, the odds of convincing them to do you any favors if you get locked out or forget your account information are working against you. The good companies will still help you out while the sketchy companies will probably ignore your inquiries, but either way your requests for help will probably be prioritized behind those of current clients. Then, once you have access and your contract is terminated, revoke permissions for any outsiders who should no longer have access. (Don’t forget to save your log-ins somewhere where you won’t lose them!) This will keep your company’s information secure moving forward.
Ask About the Next Steps
Knowing what will happen now that you’ve canceled your services is important because each company will handle cancellations differently, and your particular circumstances may also play a part in what will happen next. Don’t be afraid to ask the question “What happens now?” Find out if there’s any outstanding work that’s owed to you or if the cancellation will take effect immediately. Discuss what will be provided for the remainder of your contracted period if you’re locked into a contract (or if you’ll have to pay a fee to buy yourself out). Determine which steps are still required on your end – Do you have to turn off your own PPC or social media ads? Are there pre-written posts that you’ll need to load on your blog now? Know what’s still left to do and who is responsible for each item. This way you won’t be hit with a surprise later on!
Find Out How to Return
Sometimes you know that you’ll never be returning when you cancel a service, but other times you may just be suspending service for a period of time while you make some strategic business changes or evaluate other options. Understanding how to come back is crucial because companies handle the process of bringing former clients back differently. Some may require that you pay an onboarding or set-up fee again, while others may let you return for free. Some may assign you a new account rep when you return, whereas others will place you back in the hands of your former dedicated rep. Make your intentions clear so that your marketing company knows that you may be coming back in the future – this will provide them more incentive to keep your account settings and data intact.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!