The convenience and fast-paced nature of the modern world gives consumers an array of choices at the click of a button or turn of a page. This can make retaining customers somewhat of a challenge. The good news is that with the right strategy and corporate attitude, you can take up the challenge and successfully keep your clients.
According to a report by Alan. E. Webber on Forrester Research, it costs five times more to acquire new customers compared to keeping existing clients. Additionally, reducing your customer turnover by as little as 5% can increase profits by 25 – 125%. In a nutshell, focusing on keeping existing customers saves you money while increasing profits and building your brand.
At HOMEMAKERS Media Holdings, we have managed to retain clients for decades, with some clients advertising with us for over 30 years. In our experience, the best way to retain clients is by ensuring we stay at the top of our industry. This allows us to remain a valuable, lead generating service for our clients. Here are some other ways to retain your clients.
Make an effort to call your clients regularly, particularly to give progress updates and touch base. Building relationship through regular follow up creates trust. Genuinely listen to what your client says and make notes about specific details so you mention it on your next follow up. This will make your client feel like more than just another sales opportunity.
Check your emails and messages regularly and make sure you respond within 24 hours at most. Ideally you should try to respond within an hour, even if it’s just an acknowledgement that you have received the message and will respond in full ASAP.
Always stay true to your word. It is better to under promise and over deliver than to promise the world and leave your client disappointed. Be honest about your capacity and ensure your client knows exactly what they are paying for. Don’t create expectations you know you are not able to meet or exceed.
Make Life Easier
Your business should always be a pleasure to work with. Make life easier for your client by going beyond expectations and adding value where possible. Happy, loyal clients will refer you to others, creating extra business. On the flipside, unhappy clients will cause others to steer clear of you.
Be a Source of Information
Show off your expertise by becoming a source of information for your clients. Create valuable content online that provides information and advice that helps the public make informed decisions. The more valuable information that comes from your business, the more likely people are to contact you.
Listen to Clients
You may have the expertise but it’s important to listen to what your clients wants and expects from you. This is particularly important for business-to-business companies. Your clients know their customers and are experts in their own right. Encourage input and take it to heart when offering your service or designing your product.
Provide a personalised experience. Send out appropriate greeting cards, social media messages or personalised emails over religious holidays. Go even further by taking note of contract anniversaries and sending a message or gift to your clients to thank them for being loyal clients.
Transparency has increased in popularity for a reason. Clients no longer want to deal with faceless, secretive companies. Show you respect your clients by being transparent. Humanise your company by sharing what’s happening behind the scenes, strategically share information, where possible get your clients involved in decisions and tell your company’s story honestly. Own up to mistakes and be proactive in correcting them as quickly as possible.
Getting input from customers is great but shouldn’t be the only driving force behind growth. You and your team should be consistently evaluating where you can create more value for your clients. Be an investment for your clients by coming up with new ideas and strategies that give them the best value for their budget.
Act on Feedback
Whether it’s good or bad, be proactive about the feedback you receive. Thank or reward clients for positive feedback. Share the positives to boost morale and generate leads. Assess negative feedback, apologise and do something about it. Your response can either turn a client away and tarnish your brand or create a loyal customer. As much as possible, ensure that the talk about your business works to your advantage and helps you to improve.
Summing it up
Retaining your customers is vital to the sustainable health of your company. In the long term, loyal customers can boost your profits substantially. In addition, it is easier to up-sell a happy, loyal client than it is to draw in and sell to new clients. Taking up the challenge of retaining clients relies on proactive and genuine interactions that build your company up as one that clients can trust for transparent service and expert advice.