The problem of customer withdrawal by company employees

    Having worked as a freelancer for a year, I recently got a job in one medium-sized SEO company. An important factor in choosing a job was proximity to home and work in the second shift. I could not go to work for a full day, because I still had the chance of contacting old clients on freelance + the possibility of new clients appearing (mainly through acquaintances). In addition, at the time of employment, I was planning an active phase of work on my own online store, which in the future should become the main source of income. Well, working in a company is more like that, for the soul and gaining experience. Nevertheless, it was interesting to try to work in a team and find out what tasks a developer may face in this position. I must say that I liked the work and the team. Intertwined with routine tasks come across interesting,

    And such an incident happened. I heard about this kind of thing from my friends who had experience in medium-sized companies. My manager, who distributes the projects, gave me a client for training. At the end of the training, the client asked how he could ask questions if they arise. I replied that it is possible by phone. He asked for my business card or give me a phone number on a piece of paper. I said that I didn’t have a business card, I took a piece of paper and wrote: "8-915-111-11-11, Pupkin Vasily, website development." I must say that I wrote this without a second thought. The client has left. After some time, tête-à-tête Artemy (manager, fictitious name) asks me if I gave him my phone, offered my services. I say that I gave it (the client himself asked for it), saying that he can consult on his site (no one can advise him except me, because no one works with this software), I did not make specific offers to him and did not offer services. Anticipating the next question, I said: “Ask the question directly - will conscience torment me if a client contacts me with an order as a freelancer. No, it won’t. ”At first I still didn’t feel the catch, then I began to guess that somehow this piece of paper had reached him. Then he asked what I wrote to him. I said about the phone number and last name. At the end of the conversation, he takes out this piece of paper :) (the provocation was not very skillful and at that time I already expected it). To his question, why was there the signature “Website Development” there quite reasonably replied that among the heap of phones and unknown names on pieces of paper, after 2 days the client would no longer remember who Vasily Pupkin was. Artemy began to run over, like I should have written "Horn and Hoof Company Programmer" or something like that. “Make me business cards with the text you think is necessary,” for now, I’m signing up as it first occurs to me.

    I don’t know how he interpreted the phrase about conscience, but it literally meant the following: “If for some reason the client refuses the company’s services and turns to me as a freelancer, I won’t refuse it (it will go to competitors anyway). But I’m not going to engage in targeted withdrawal of clients. ” I’m not going to make excuses to anyone. Whether I compromised myself or not, let management decide. The meaning of my post is different.

    In fact, I completely share the anxiety of managers. The problem of customer withdrawal by employees is quite acute. Different companies deal with this in different ways. I will not undertake to assert that in this case there was a planned provocation (on the initiative of the manager or with the submission of leadership). But there are other cases (not with me) with more pronounced "setups." In the described example, there could be a dummy client (maybe it was? :)) or there could be a call supposedly from the client: "Darago, let me give you money, you will make my website quick, otherwise these are very expensive."

    What do you think, in what ways should this problem be solved, and whether such “events” have the right to exist? In my opinion, the sediment that the employee may have and the atmosphere created by the company in this way will do much more harm than the potential opportunity to lead customers away.

    There is an opinion (and I share it) that it is still necessary to deal with this in more civilized ways:

    1) Creating trusting relationships with employees and comfortable conditions for his work. Often, an employee begins to lead customers away from a good life or because of some conflicts with management.

    2) All key customers should be managed by trusted managers, access to other employees should be limited.

    3) Constant contacts with customers. Tracking customers who have not called for a long time, finding out the reasons.
    Nevertheless, the presumption of innocence has not been canceled. A normal employee can only be offended by rude inspections, and truly unscrupulous employees must have experience in such matters and will not come across such inspections.

    PS Obviously, the names and company name are fictitious. I believe that under such a condition I have the full moral right to publish an article. I take this opportunity to send greetings to all the employees who recognized their company in this post. I hope that the incident that happened is only a misunderstanding, and will be exhausted without precipitate.

    If it’s uninteresting and off topic, nafig :) If interested, tell me which blog to transfer to.

    PP.S So far I transferred it to My Business, not quite in the subject, but I did not find the blog “Their Business”.

    UPD: Something a lot of comments about the "company policy", about the position of management, etc. And no one thought that this is an initiative of a single manager, about which the management does not know, and if it does, then maybe it will not be approved? In fact, it turned out in general. In my opinion, there is a lack of professionalism of the manager. What did he achieve by unreasonably accusing me, as some put it, of rat-dogging? Suspicions crept in, a check was needed - do it neatly and beautifully so that no one would know in case of failure. And now only an unpleasant aftertaste and spoiled relations.

    Also, in the comments, the idea was repeatedly expressed that the price of that company, for which a separate freelancer competes and in which the management does not understand that these are different markets, is worthless. I share this thought. I ask only to note that there was no talk of leadership in the article at all. The guidance is quite adequate.

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