5 Ways to Retain Your Clients
I've been fortunate enough to hold on to my clients for a long time. Months turn into years and then more years and before you know it's 5, 10 and even more, and my clients and I get to reminisce about the good old days.
Many of my business acquaintances have asked me how I create this stickiness and retain and grow my client relationships. They want to do the same things!
Please don't get me wrong. I don't think these ideas are so very unique or clever. Lots and lots of businesses do them too but many are more interested in bringing in “new” business rather than retaining and growing their existing clients. What’s your strategy for stickiness? Here’s mine: Stick to your word I’m pretty darn dependable and once I make a commitment to do something, it gets done. I find myself getting resentful when people say that they’re going to do something and then don’t do it. Of course, there are things that can get in the way but more often than not, this lack of commitment and “stick-to-it-iveness” is part of a person’s personal brand.
Be fun to work with I enjoy what I do and work hard to make it enjoyable for my clients too. I pride myself on having a good sense of humor and get along with most everybody and I think my clients enjoy having me around (really!). Seriously, who wants to work with someone that is high maintenance?
Be generous with your time I don’t nickel and dime and will be known to spend extra time in-person or over the telephone giving advice and helping out. I am confident that this “value-add” is important and my clients will often mention to me “how much I bring to the table.” This generosity has come back to me time and again.
Be responsive Everyone knows that I am hyper-vigilant about returning calls and emails in a timely manner. I don’t want my clients to question my attentiveness to their work and I never want to leave them hanging by not getting them the answer or information that they need.
Be appreciative I say “thank you” frequently and take every opportunity to show my appreciation for the opportunity to work with my client. From phone calls to emails, handwritten thank you cards and even lunch brought in for the staff, I never want a client to feel unappreciated.
You’ll notice that I haven’t included “do good work” because that’s kind of a given, isn’t it? Retaining clients doesn’t mean that you can stop prospecting but it means that you can sure do less of it.
For me, this all makes good sense. How about you?