When most people think of creating a marketing plan, they put an emphasis on getting new customers to build their business. While it is significant to obtain new clients, and set new business goals, overlooking your existing clients can be detrimental to your business.
Customer retention increases the bottom line for two simple reasons:
- It costs far more to acquire a new client than to keep a current one.
- You may do more business in a year with one loyal client, than trying to do business with 100 potential clients.
Loyal customers not only repeat, they refer.
Clients you have a great relationship with tend to mention it to their families, friends, and co-workers. They’re likely to refer people to you if they are satisfied with the service they have received. Most professionals know they should retain customers. Most know they need to maintain customer contact to do so. But many don’t. That’s good news for you - because if you do, you’re in the minority of professionals and your customer will become even MORE loyal. These are some loyalty-building ideas to implement REGULARLY (that is the key folks – regular contact so your customers don’t forget who you are and think that your once a year mailing is from some stranger who bought a list.)
Strengthening your one-to-one relationships.
Relationships are important in business and are one of the best ways to create loyalty. This means sending birthday cards, thank you cards, gifts, even phone calls that don’t contain sales messages. Demonstrate that you care about your clients by following up with them regularly, and taking the time to show your appreciation.
Regularly check satisfaction levels.
Even satisfied clients can be swayed by special offers or promotions. Call your clients on a regular basis to check in and ask some questions. See what worked, what needs improvement and really listen to what they’re telling you.
Honesty is the best policy.
Always be truthful with both the good and the bad. With the turmoil and troubles that the industry has seen, people have lost faith and trust. Show your clients they can trust you. Act with honesty and integrity.