We always complain about vendor lock-in. And try to “escape” it by using open-source tools or making sure the vendors offer clear export options in case we want to leave at some point.
But sometimes we forget that we may be the “evil vendor” from our own clients’ perspective. So make sure you’re not locking-in your customers. Forcing anybody to say is the worse business decision you can make. Short-term gain for a long-term disaster. Not only you will lose that client, but many other prospective clients as the “tied one” will badmouth your practices as much as possible.
But the good news, it’s that the opposite is also true. Help a client to leave or move on, and you’ll get a grateful user for life. So grateful that he may even come back at some point in the future (when he has more money to spend, when your product or his requirements change, and you’re then a better fit,..). And, more importantly, that he’ll make sure to announce going with you is a safe option as, in the worst case scenario, people can leave in good terms and hassle-free.
Believe me, I’m one of these grateful clients:
Best way to make sure a former customer comes back is helping him to leave. So impressed with @basecamp support to quickly export & download all my project data.
It wasn't you, it was me 🙂
— Jordi Cabot (@JordiCabot) February 16, 2022