Do you know the cost of client acquisition? Meaning, how much to you have to spend in advertising, networking, SEO, paying sales reps, CRM automation etc. to gain one new client?
So why work so hard just to have them go to the competitor! You should only lose a client if YOU decide to let them go. Of course there are conditions in which clients may leave such as selling their business, going out of business, shrinking or growing to a point where your product or services are no longer a fit. But outside of those types of reasons you should shoot for 100% customer retention!
Here are some tips on how to keep the customer that you invested to gain:
1. Live up to your Core Values
You tell your customers what you value so they EXPECT that you live up to them. There is nothing more frustrating than when expectations are unfulfilled. If you say that you ‘treat your customers as family’ then make sure all interactions are supporting that claim. Clients want to have shared values with the companies that they CHOOSE to use. Your core values resonate with them and that is why they pay you so work very hard at never letting them down!
2. Do what you say you are going to do
If people like you then they will forgive some mistakes but if you consistently let your client down by not fulfilling what you have committed to do for them then they will drop you like a bad habit. That is not only in business but a very good life lesson as well. Work hard at being on time and if you cannot fulfill a commitment in the time frame that you promised then simply let them know and ask for a new time frame. Not doing what you say are you going to do makes you look like you are disorganized or you don’t care!
3. Ask your customers questions
Your customers will tell you everything you need to know about your business and your staff. Make sure to frame your discussion in the correct way meaning that you ask them permission to ask some questions and assure them that you are merely asking them so that you can improve your operations. By asking for permission and for them to give honest and blunt feedback you will set the stage for the most important conversions you can have!
4. Give your clients referrals
Givers Get! It is that simple. If you have an opportunity to create a new lead or relationship for one of your clients jump all over it. Some clients are easier to refer than other clients by nature of their business so make it a point to find a referral for the tougher companies that struggle to find good leads. There is nothing better than opening an email or getting a call with a strong referral lead and your clients will stay so much more loyal to you if they know you are out working for them!
5. Communication, communication, communication!
Communication is the key to ANY good relationship. People want you to listen! So the next time your customer tells you something REALLY listen to what they are saying. The trick is to not interrupt them and take a deep breath before responding. Make sure you understand it and repeat it back to them. Remember you have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason. People want to do business with companies that have their best interest in mind so it is imperative that they feel that you put their best interests before your own. Most importantly is that you understand their interests!
6. Tell them THANK YOU and mean it!
I don’t care who you are, everyone loves to hear ‘thank you’! And it has to be sincere. Think about ‘thank you’ a little differently, imagine that you did not have them as a client and think about how hard it is to gain a new client (see the first line in this blog) and then thank them after that thought. It makes your truly appreciate having them as your client!