We’ve all heard the age-old saying “It’s cheaper to keep a client than to gain a new one.” So what are we doing to maintain those relationships? Is our current strategy not working like we want it to? Businesses who work hard to understand and meet their customers’ needs are the ones who become experts in fostering long-lasting customer relationships. There are many strategies out there on how to create and maintain relationships with your client. The following seven strategies provide key examples of how to improve your client retention rates and build trust.
Work Just As Hard to Keep Clients as You Do to Get a New One
Through marketing efforts and advertising campaigns to entice the public to try the next greatest thing, sometimes we forget our current customers want to be enticed, too. The moment a customer makes a purchase most companies assume their product will generate loyalty. However, after time customers will start to feel the company doesn’t care for them or doesn’t want them around. Create effective retention programs and loyalty systems designed to keep your clients around and ultimately increase profits.
Use Proactive Service
Think about the times when you have received a text from an airline that your flight was delayed, or a postcard from your favorite store that the friends and family sale is coming up, or when the automated hold line for your telephone company says it will call you back when someone is free so you don’t have to wait. No matter what your industry there is a way that your product or services can proactively avoid a potentially negative situation. Even a simple follow-up call a few weeks after service or product delivery can have a huge impact.
Stay True to The Company and Your Client
There is no need to oversell an item or service. The client will soon recognize if they’ve been swindled into buying something they don’t need or that doesn’t meet their needs and cut their ties with the company. That’s why it’s best to understand what your company offers, how it can best suit your client and be honest when your solution isn’t the one they are looking for. The customer will appreciate the honesty and integrity of the entire company.
Go Virtual With Your Client – Interact with Them Online
Reach out to your customers. Just about everyone is online these days and they want to find out about products and services online. Interestingly your online presence also needs to have a personality; your clients want to feel they can receive the same level of personalized service online as they can in the brick-and-mortar building of your company. Take the time to develop your social media sites, blogs and interactive websites. Show your customers how transparent and available you are to fulfill their needs and they will continually build a positive frame of reference for the company.
Don’t be afraid to spell out exactly what you can and can’t do for your clients. When the parameters for service capabilities are set then your client won’t be deceived by their own misconceptions. It’s a good idea to make sure the standards you set are attainable 100% of the time since customers will remember any negative experience. Once the standards of expectations have been set your clients realize the company is being true to their word and every going above and beyond every now and then.
Be Respectful of the Competition
Talking down about the competitor doesn’t make a team or team member look smarter or any better. Most often, being disrespectful of other companies, services or team members makes the one doing the talking seem immature and petty. When products and services are truly amazing, they speak for themselves.
Give Your Clients a Sounding Board
Most lost clients leave silently without even letting you know why they stopped using your products or services. Make sure there is a system in place for clients to state their complaints and concerns. Follow-up with your customers’ complaints with acknowledgment and a way to address the issue. Feedback is a gift. Following-up with a customer complaint is a second-chance to satisfy your existing customer and keep them on board.
Some of these retention strategies require little to no capital investment to implement in your daily business efforts. One thing these strategies do require is research into what your customer is seeking and how to best meet those needs.