So you’ve made that big sale. Congratulations! But now what? Can your business run on new sales alone?
Possibly, but keeping clients, especially good ones, is the key to a successful business. Of course, over time, you will lose or drop bad clients. However, learning to focus on landing and maintaining relationships with great clients is absolutely vital to keep your business growing and healthy.
Here are 4 of our favorite tips to help you achieve client retention:
1. Pursue Your Old Clients
The key to sustaining business growth is ensuring previous customers do not slip between the cracks of your marketing strategy. The target market should always be catered to the people who have already swiped their cards for your services or products. However, after that initial transaction, most customers are overlooked and no longer pursued, causing the inevitable weakening of your business. Rather than being fully devoted to potential customers, be deliberate and intentional with strategies to nurture and cultivate already existing relationships. Keeping previous customers interested is as important as achieving that new sale. Think individualistically about the gross profit each customer would yield if they were repeatedly using your business over the course of several years. Each customer has the capability to be a source of a lifetime of sales — if nurtured properly. After the initial purchase, create a system of ongoing communication that will portray new ways the customer can be involved with your business. Preserve client engagement and you preserve the growth of your business.
2. Readjust Your Target Market
If you have found that your business is no longer tending to previous customers, do not fear! You can still revitalize neglected customer relationships. If you have found yourself chasing solely after creating new customer relationships, stop and readjust your marketing focus to customer retention. It is time to create a comeback of customer activity. Talk with previous customers and reengage them with your business. They used your business for a reason. It’s now your job to remind them of why they did and of what makes your brand, your company, and your business original and special. What do you do that no one else can? Your previous customers were already drawn to it and now is the time to remind them of what you do and the way you do it. Targeting and reconnecting with those you have already done business with is the quickest way to safeguard relationships that will boost your revenue.
3. Relationships Need Constant Communication
We all know relationships require communication and it is no different in the realm of customer relationships. The best way to ensure your customers do not fall through the cracks along your way to expansion is to develop a system of communication that makes your buyers feel recognized and important. Create instantaneous and automatic responses throughout the progression of the sales process through emails, letters, future special offers and personalized thank you notes that make your users feel recognized and appreciated. The constant stream of communication creates a sense of connection and instills your special branding that will make them want to come to you again and again.
4. User Feedback is Everything
Feedback on user experience is the most valuable commodity to your business. Rather than guessing about what your customers want or would like changed, ask them. Rather than developing marketing strategies on hypothetical user personas, talk directly to your users. Gather what they like, what they don’t like, and what they would hope to see in the future and let this feedback guide your business strategy. Create a system that will uncover the experiences and sentiments people have through the various stages of doing business with you. Finding the qualms and unpleasantries in previous customer experiences is the arsenal to safeguarding their business.
Mike McDerement’s book Crack the Client Code: How to Discover the Hidden Wealth in Each Client, is a great resource for freelancers and businesses to understand the dynamics and potential for individual client relationships. It poses the tactics and correct thinking of the disposition of each customer that is vital to nurturing and sustaining business growth.
What are your favorite tips and tricks for client retention? Let us know in the comments below!