A company’s largest asset is its clients. They are the driving force. Without them, businesses would not be around. The retention of a client is your goal. Sure, one-time clients are great, but getting a person who without fail chooses you for their services is what brings home the bacon. Sometimes it can be a chore to build that returning clientele, but they say the best things in life aren’t easy. This case is the same. The key is to make every client feel appreciated. The following strategies can be used by any industry to help take that regular customer experience to customer service excellence. When you have the customer on your side, it will flow into not only an easy relationship to maintain, but it will also inspire loyalty. It should lead to customer referrals. Good word of mouth can spread like wildfire. At That! Company our client retention strategy is summarized under R.A.D, Relationship, Attitude, and Dependability. Using these tips can help you create your own strategy for retention.
Listen to Customers and Take Them Seriously
People just want to be heard, whether it’s a question about your service or a problem that isn’t even related. Just lending an ear can improve your relationship with the clientele. It shows that you’re willing to listen, and you take their issues seriously. A client is more likely to purchase your services if they feel a bond, a friendship of some sort. When they feel like you care about their success, they will care about yours. Here at That! Company we ask clients questions about their birthday, or if they have pets or kids. This is to form a bond of not only client–provider, but friends also. Having a personal relationship can be as simple as personalizing an outreach or a sales offer. We let them know they are an individual, and not just a name on a list of clients.
Stay Calm and Apologize When You are Wrong
It is bound to happen – a mistake, an overlooked item. As hard as it may seem when you are being blamed for something even if it isn’t necessarily any fault of your own, you should always remain calm. It will rub off on the client, and they will calm down also. It also shows that you are in control of the situation and willing to solve the problem whatever it may be. Say, “I’m Sorry”.It is amazing how those two words can diffuse a situation. Don’t take part of the blame game. If it is something you can solve, show or tell the customer what you will do to make things better. A mistake can put you at risk of losing clients, but handling it appropriately makes all the difference. If the customer knows you’re willing to fix it at all means necessary, then they are more likely to forgive you and move on. Take for instance a very popular retail store who suffered a major data breach in 2013. They immediately owned up and apologized. They remained calm and offered to do what they could to protect their shoppers as soon as they were aware of what happened. Some avid shoppers may have stopped visiting their stores for a while; however, the retention of most of their shoppers remained intact.
Foresee and Distinguish Needs and Suggest Action Plans
It’s easy for the client-company relationship to fall victim to a stagnant routine. Everything is moving. You know what type of work the customer desires, and you know what will work to reach their objectives. This can get boring. It’s easy for the client to wake up one day and realize how dull and bland their choice of company is. As the relationship grows, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable taking the reins. It’s easy sometimes to take the customer is always right to an extreme. Nevertheless, it is good once that client feels the trust with you and your services to look ahead and see how you can assist them in either avoiding a problem altogether; or if not, creating a plan to solve the problem. Most client problems are emotion-based. As a result, the more you get to know them, the better you will be to foresee issues before they arise, or even handle a situation to avoid the problem altogether. Your client will start to see how you do have their best interests in mind, and this will keep them coming back. No one wants to start over when they are already comfortable with a company who truly does the right thing.
Say Yes When You Can, But Acknowledge Your Limits
There really is power in the word “Yes”. It makes doing business simpler. So, you should always look for ways to help your clients. When they ask for something within reason tell them you’ll handle it and figure out how to after. More importantly, always do what you say you’ll do. This builds the client-provider relationship. However, don’t set yourself up for failure. This is where dependability plays quite a bit in our strategy. Our clients know we will go above and beyond for them when possible. They can count on us to give our best in our services, as well as our relationships. We set clear guidelines that we will always do more than warranted, but less then damaging, because we want to be here long term for them.
Get Regular Feedback and Give It too
Giving your clients feedback is an important way to build trust in the relationship. Leading a client down a clear successful path is one of the most powerful tools you can use. This builds trust and loyalty with a client. This allows clients an opportunity to express what you’re doing right, and more importantly, what you’re getting wrong. This allows them to identify unhappy customers before they give up on you and your services. Getting and giving feedback promotes the relationship portion of our strategy. After all, we can’t change our strategy if we don’t know what is wrong with it at first. Being able to see the issues as early as possible helps you prevent customers from leaving in the first place.
Client retention programs work to create a client experience that encourages loyalty, confident reaction, and makes customers more willing to continue investing. By keeping a client, companies can help them obtain more value from a service or product, encourage them to share feedback and stories of using the product or service to influence potential new clients, and begin to build a community of compatible clients they can connect with. After all, keeping a client is less expensive than gaining a new client. Hence why including a simple strategy for companies to use, such as these 5 tips above, will help achieve what is most important for our companies to succeed. You won’t be able to keep all of your clients all of the time, but you can give it your all to increase customer retention by implementing and following a retention strategy. After all, what is better than a one-time client? A client that uses your services over and over again.