The success of any business depends on its ability to retain its clients. As you build your business, you will face hurdles to keep up the flow of your new clients. Your time and money are invested in selecting the best CRM software, improving your marketing, or prioritizing self-care. Client retention should be at the top of your priority list.
The ability to retain clients keeps a lot of money in your pocket as well. So, how do you work to ensure that you do not lose clients?
1. Put your client first: Remember that your client is why you have a business. Without clients, you would have no business. Always keep this in mind and make sure that your policies, procedures, attitude, and everything else about your business reflects this priority.
2. Stay in touch: Even if a client has not hired you in a while, it is important to stay in touch. You never know when they may need your services again. Touch base every now and then with a quick email or phone call just to check in. To help you remember and save time, automate your follow-up process. Take note of client birthdays, anniversaries, business milestones and more.
3. Be responsive: When a client contacts you, whether it is by phone, email, or social media, be sure to have a process in place to respond. Set business hours. Yes, your business needs business hours just like any other business. Post your hours, share them with clients, and add them to your email signature for example.
4. Offer a service that your clients need after the initial project. For instance, if you are a brand photographer, offer your clients a follow-up photo shoot in the next 3 months. Why? Simply because your clients need images to keep their brand fresh. Hook your clients in by offering a loyalty discount if their next shoot is booked within a certain time period. If you are a makeup artist, offer a monthly special for returning clients. Web designers can offer maintenance packages. The list goes on.
5. Simplify your business systems and processes. The client experience is important. You want to make it easy to do business with you. Your onboarding process should be hassle-free. Your business should have an offboarding process as well. This helps to ensure that everything flows for you and your clients.
6. Implement a loyalty program where you build incentives for recurring clients. Those who have done business with you before will most likely come back again. Find a way to reward their return.
7. Survey the experience. Create a way to assess the client’s experience with your company. All businesses can benefit from customer feedback.
All in all, as an independent business owner, you want to ensure that client retention is a priority in your business. A business will flow much easier for you and your clients when you have a strategy to keep your clients. Remember those happy clients also become marketing pieces for you.
Do you have any other ideas to retain clients? Share them below.