To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart. ~ Thomas Watson, Sr.
It’s always good to start with a little motivational quote. With business it may feel as if everything is a constant battle of balancing the books, bringing in new clients and stopping old ones from walking across the proverbial road to your competitor. But as in life and love, one must learn to love ones business as much as you would expect your clients to.
Client retention can be tricky, no matter what industry you are in. There are a number of things all businesses need to remember in order to keep their customers loyal and coming back for more.
Excellent customer service is a must, but how can you ensure that it is?
- If your client/customer complains or is looking for assistance then it should be easy for them to do so. Ensure you have multiple channels of communication for them to speak to you so no-one is restricted by circumstance, and deal with all queries promptly.
- Follow up service. No matter what you produce, be sure to follow up and gain feedback from your clients. How was their buying journey? What could you do to improve? Your clients are your most valuable source of information.
- Offer them more. Quite simply the more products your client buys from you the harder it will be for them to leave you. So if you have multi-channel products be sure to bring it to their attention, putting their interest at heart.
- Reward your clients. Give your clients a little something for being loyal; after all they could go elsewhere. Choose something appropriate for your audience; it could be corporate hospitality or simply a small gift. It might not cost the earth but you can be sure they will appreciate that little something.
- Staff training. The more you train your staff and increase their knowledge, the better prepared they will be and the more professional they will come across to your clients. It also shows you have a vested interest in them and your company and that you care about their development.
- Give your best price to renewing clients. It’s all very well enticing new customers with introductory prices, but make sure customers who come back year in year out are getting the best deal. I think we’ve all experienced a company that hasn’t and usual reaction is to look elsewhere for a better deal.
- Celebrate successes with your clients. Perhaps it’s just an update in a newsletter, or perhaps a small offer/free giveaway, but if you share your successes with your clients they will feel more invested in your company and therefore more likely to stay.
- Let them leave respectfully. No matter what you do, sometimes a client will simply leave because they were tempted elsewhere or someone else has made the decision. If they do, then let them leave, but remind them that you are sorry to see them go, and hope they will think of your company again in the future. Many a return client has occurred due to disillusion with a new company or poor service.