How to write a handover email to a client

Are you leaving a role, and thinking about how to manage transferring your client work to a colleague?

Here’s how to do a smooth handover process, and there’s an email template below you can use to tell clients that you are moving on.

Why are you writing the email?

First, let’s get clear on why you want to write the handover mail. Normally, when I’ve had to let clients (or vendors) know that I’m going to be out for a while it’s because either:

  • I am leaving the job and want to reassure them that there will be a smooth handover


  • I’m letting them know that I’ll be out off the office for some time, and want to reassure them.

Either way, the purpose of writing a handover email to a customer is to let them know that there won’t be disruption in the service your company provides to them.

If you’re writing handover notes for a colleague, read my complete guide to doing a work handover instead. That one also has email templates!

handover email image by midjourney

Let them know before the email

Ideally, your handover message will not be news to the client.

A professional handover is never a surprise.

Call the customer first and let them know, or if you aren’t senior enough to do that, have your manager call them and break the news.

The contents of the handover email is more about reassurance, continuity and wrapping up any tasks you specifically had open for them.

Explain the handover process

An important part of your client handover is letting them know what’s happening. No one likes to be in the dark, and if you’re paying for a service, even more so.

Talk to your client about the process for completing your handover. Normally this will be making sure you do a good job of briefing a colleague who will be taking the lead when you move on. Ideally, there will be some time for you to work alongside them, training them before you go.

If you can, introduce them to the client via your normal account management meetings so they have both of you in the room (or on screen) for a couple of weeks.

Be available for questions

Make sure your handover starts early enough for you to be around to smooth things over.

Clients may have questions, or they may want to highlight some particular details that they want you to pass on. If you can, be around to answer all of those gracefully.

If you don’t know the answers, make sure to point them to someone who does.

Pro Tip

Your replacement might as well start building a relationship with the person who will be managing the work going forward, so if they have already started, get them to reply to questions and copy you in.

What happens when you don’t have time for a proper handover?

Let’s assume your dream job has come up and you’re leaving tomorrow. Or some personal situation means you have to leave with hardly any notice.

You can still send a handover email. You might want to add more detail (not about your personal circumstances) and you’ll certainly want to do a detailed handover to the colleague, even if you have to do that in writing.

Write a handover email to your manager, and point out where the core information is that they will need to ensure continuity of service.

Template: What to put in your handover email

Here’s a sample handover email template that you can customize to send to your clients.


Following our conversation, I wanted to formally introduce you to [COLLEAGUE’S NAME] who will be picking up the XXX account/project from me. [NAME] is a fantastic project manager/account manager etc with X years’ experience leading similar initiatives. HIS/HER contact details are:


I’ll be completing a full internal handover so please be assured that HE/SHE will be able to pick up seamlessly when I leave on [DATE].

The next steps that we are working on together and that I’m handing over are:

  • NEXT STEP 2.

Thank you so much for your engagement/support on this project to date. It has been a pleasure to work with you and I’m sure with [NAME] supporting the work going forward, it will be a huge success.

If you have any questions about the transition process, please reach out to [MANAGER’S NAME].

Close with your normal closure/signature.

Copy in your colleague and your manager/account manager as necessary.

If the project has come to a natural close, read more about how to handover a project on closure as you’ll probably want to include different details.

Should you provide your contact information?

I don’t think it’s professional to include your personal contact information. You might be accused of trying to poach clients if you provide details of where you are going next or your personal email address.

The relationship is between the organization and the client, not you personally. It’s not necessary or appropriate to encourage them to stay in contact at this point.

pin image with text: how to write a handover email to a client

After the handover email is sent

Now you’re all ready to leave and your client has the contact details for your replacement.

I would now think about what you have learned working with this customer. Can you copy all your achievements, key tasks and responsibilities to your LinkedIn profile?

If you got on particularly well with the client and it wouldn’t be weird, why not connect with them on LinkedIn and ask them for a recommendation? It’s an easy way to build your network and it makes more sense to do it soon, rather than leaving it a year or so and wondering if they remember you.

Leaving a role and having to say goodbye to clients is a normal part of building your career, so don’t feel bad about sharing the news that you are moving on. Use the email outline here as a guide for how you are going to communicate with your clients, and take the next step forward with confidence.