Client Retention Strategy Essential for Businesses
by Janette Blanco | March 2, 2018
Over the years of talking with entrepreneurs I have often come across the fact that they lack of a client retention strategy, even though they all agree that retaining clients is less expensive than attracting new ones. This also leads to a conversation about customer service.
Do entrepreneurs really understand what excellent customer service means? To help them better understand, here are a few suggestions for retaining clients.
- Be proactive. Anticipate problems. Entrepreneurs must know their customer. They must get familiar with their likes and dislikes. Every industry and market is different. Getting to know your customers will help you provide excellent customer service where the goal is always to exceed expectations.
- Track trends and customer satisfaction. A great way to get to know customers is to track trends and customer satisfaction. There are several tools on the market that can help with tracking. Using a database management system is highly recommended.
- Be consistent. Get your employees trained. Employees should deliver consistent customer service while handling complaints, as well as rewarding customers.
- Be personal. Personalizing services results in building stronger relationships. It shows how much you care. Doing simple things like remembering special occasions, inviting customers to events, sharing content, and tailoring messages according to customer’s profile can go a long way.
- Be an advisor. Being an advisor tends to build dependency. Becoming a trusted source will result in relationship building.
- Communicate well. When developing a new a product or a service, communicate with existing customers. Ask them for feedback. Share the excitement and make them feel they are part of it.
- Label customers. Use positive words like VIP, awesome, or premium to help elevate their positioning with you.
- Do not ignore the bigger picture. Do not see customers as a one-time sale. Think about how you can bring customer’s back in the door with specials or exclusive products and content, throughout the years.
Creating a simple process and being persistent is the key. Having one person managing and monitoring the process helps with consistency.
Get in the habit of calculating your client retention rate. Understand its importance. We all know that retaining a client costs less than attracting new clients and that loyal clients will spread the word and keep buying from you. Client retention can be calculated weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly depending on the business goals and sales cycles.
Client retention is one of the key factors for businesses to grow and succeed.
Benchmarks are a great asset for you to compare how you are doing in comparison to industry standards. Use them to improve. Aim for excellence. Do not settle for average.
When it comes to client retention, average is not good enough. However, it could be a great starting point for improvement.
Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County Economic Development Department
Specialty: Business Plans, Construction Industry Regulations and Licensing, Contract Compliance
Janette Blanco has extensive knowledge in doing business with the government and specializes in assisting minority and women-owned businesses with the government bidding process. Prior to joining the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County, Blanco was a cost estimator on engineering projects as well as owned and operated her own business for 15 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts. She is a Contract Compliance Administrator and certified in Strategic Management Performance Systems. Blanco is also bilingual.