When it comes to running a business, owners will spend a lot of time and energy focused on getting new customers. That makes sense – new business brings in more money. However, we are here to tell you that customer retention is just as important.
Something that we often work with our clients on is client retention and communications. While this may sound a bit boring and perhaps complicated, it is very important, easy and can be very fun.
When we evaluate a client’s communication strategy we are always very interested to learn about how a business talks to its current customers. Too often we find that business owners put all of their current clients and prospective clients into the same bucket and speak to the entire audience as if they are all the same. They are not! You need to speak to your current customers differently – they need to be put on a bit of a pedestal!
Here are some tips:
- When you send out your monthly email newsletters, take the time to create a different message for your current customers. Make sure they are kept up to date on important information, create promotions that are unique for them and make sure they have ways to get in touch with you with any issues they want to address.
- Set up a referral program. Current customers can be your greatest advocates and can bring in more new business than advertising. (Make sure these people get rewarded for referring their friends.)
- Take care of your clients. Make sure you offer things like service reminder emails, repeat business deals, annual service agreements, etc. These are all ways to keep customers as clients. Make it hard for them to leave you!
- “Parent/Teacher Conferences”. Make sure that you are taking the time at least once a year or maybe even once a quarter to check in with your clients. Have a meeting where you can go over how things are going, address any issues and talk about future plans. These are even better if they can be done in person – grab lunch and spend some time on the relationship!