Keeping a client is hard, and making a repeat business is harder. And it is several folds more difficult if you’re involved in Business to Business (B2B) transactions where the competition is high and the market is limited.
In the most ideal world, you can keep all your clients happy and they will constantly renew their contracts with you.
But we are not in wonderland, and maintaining a 100% client retention rate is almost impossible. You’ve spent time, energy and money to acquire them, but in the end, they’ll just leave you. It’s harsh but that’s the truth. No matter how much effort you put in, there will be instances when you would have to say goodbye to some clients.
It’s not only you who has this kind of problem. A lot of businesses do. Client retention is one of the most talked about issues in business management. Despite the extensive research and dialogues regarding this topic, achieving high client retention rate still remains as difficult as ever.
Client relationships doesn’t start after contract signing and initial deposit. On the other hand, client relationship starts exactly right on the first meeting.
During this first meeting, your task is not just to sell the service, but to manage expectations. Clearly explain what is and what is not and draw the line between what can and what cannot be. Due to misunderstandings and human error, clients sometimes have the wrong notions and expectations of what they have paid you to do. It is your duty, as the service provider, to enlighten them about it. Otherwise, you would end up being accused of not delivering what they thought you’ve promised them you’ll do.
Tell them about the whole and exact process of your service; negotiate on the metrics you’re going to use, the results and exact timetables you’re going to work for. Put in the constrictions and dependables because it is unavoidable that problems would arise from these loopholes.
Before anything else, properly onboard your clients. Give them straight details on what to expect.
Deliver more than what you promised
This couldn’t be overemphasized enough. To keep your clients, you must make them happy and satisfied. Exceed their expectations and give them 10% more than the results that you promised. Aside from the core product or service that you have, offer little extra benefits for them like free consultations and discounts. Clients who receive more than what they need is more likely to renew their contracts.
Initiate dialogue and open all avenues for communications
Make sure that you open every avenue for communications. As much as possible, regularly update your clients on the status of your work and make it a point to be available whenever they need your help. Sure, you have other clients, but how hard can it be to send a two to three liner emails about the tasks you finished for them this week?
With all the available online platforms, it wouldn’t be so hard to keep in touch with all your clients. Talk to them through facebook, twitter, or even Google +.
Constant communication builds rapport, increases trust, and deepens the relationship. The more your clients trust you, the more likely they’ll repeat business with you again.
Anchor client relationship efforts on honesty and genuine concern
Never lie to your clients. Even if things didn’t went as planned, and you messed up on important activities that might adversely affect the result they need, don’t ever try to hide this from your clients. They will more likely discover this, and they wouldn’t trust you or your company ever again.
Tell them the truth, but before doing that, make sure that you have already fixed the problem (otherwise, you should have a ready plan at hand).
We at DigitalMoz are not selfish. Since we enjoy one of the highest client retention rate relative to our line of business (and high client referrals as extra), we are glad to share these principles that we follow in taking care of our clients. We hope that these will help your business as well.
- How to Find the Perfect Digital Agency for Your Brand - July 16, 2015
- How to Make Your Website Readable? - July 22, 2014
- Visual Content Marketing: Your Business Eye Candy - June 26, 2014
- What Happens in Internet in 1 Minute and What it Means to Your Business - May 8, 2014
- 6 Signs Your Website Needs a Make-over - May 5, 2014
- Google Plus Ads Now Available For Businesses - April 30, 2014
- Top 5 Fears of Businesses About Digital Marketing - April 23, 2014
- Things That You Should Not Expect From Your SEO Specialist - April 15, 2014
- The importance of audience-based SEO in targeting keywords and creating content - February 22, 2014
- SEO & Online Marketing: What to Expect in 2014 - January 9, 2014