Gaining new clients is always an accomplishment, but keeping them for years takes plenty of skill and dedication. Often, the longest lasting client-business relationships are some of the most positive. When you are able to turn client acquisitions into long-term relationships, you can make your work life easier and more enjoyable.
How do you keep clients happy? There are several techniques and skills available you can employ to keep the loyalty in your client lasting.
The first point is to establish a system of reporting progress and communicating updates with your client. You know you have done a lot of work for your client, but they do not know that. In most cases, they are busy themselves and do not have time to contact you for a status update. Provide them with a method or system that allows them to see regular updates when they have the chance – this can be a dashboard or website where they can log in and check on progress.
While you are coming in on a Monday morning or finishing off the week on a Friday afternoon, send a weekly update email that summarises activity for your client. These weekly emails are way for clients to stay in touch with you and also correspond with you if they need to. Some clients are under pressure to perform and are always wondering about whether all marketing efforts are paying off, your reports will keep them assured and in the know.
If you have a larger volume of clients, it can be taxing to send personalised reports for all of them. Instead, find a particular notification system and use it as a template. Once you have the template set-up, you can apply it to the rest of every client’s reports. You can also set up a schedule or alert system that keeps the appropriate parties informed ahead of time that a report is on the way.
When you make you regular correspondences with clients, be sure to highlight the successful and positive factors of your work. Instead of telling them the numbers, place extra emphasis on what stands out as a positive. Did the client experience a 50% increase in sales, profit, or acquisitions? When there is something worth mentioning, do not hesitate to single it out.
There will always be competitors or changes in your industry that can affect your clients’ relationship with you. While the beginning period is full of excitement and ideas, it is important to maintain it through continuous innovation. Keep up with the latest trends or moves by competitors, then discuss with your clients how to capitalise on opportunities.
If you really want to impress your clients, take the time to research and study their industry. Whether it is a doctor or engineer, getting some understanding of the field they work in can help make communication easier and more coordinated. Obviously, you may not rival their expertise, but you can incorporate some of your marketing plans with insights relevant to their industry.
Do you make yourself accessible? Clients feel more comfortable with the knowledge that their business partners are available and accessible. By letting your clients know your schedule and the times you will be available, you are keeping them assured. If you don’t want to be contacted at off-hours for non-emergencies, invest in a support helpline or call center.
Some businesses like to set optimistic, but unrealistic goals. However, there is a difference between being confident and unrealistic. It is good practice to re-assure clients in what you are doing, but do not make unrealistic promises. Clients are not only investing their money in you, but also their trust. Making unnecessary statements or setting goals that are out-of-reach can make you appear unreliable. If you keep expectations reasonable and realistic, then you can reinforce the trust from your client if you achieve them.
Lastly, if it looks a deadline won’t be met, then be honest and inform your clients. Explain with your best reasoning and provide a deadline that can be met. Do this early so clients have more time to adjust their own schedules and inform other parties on their end. Your client will appreciate these notifications and begin to see you as a trusted source of communication.
Businesses can jeopardise relationships with clients when they do not take the effort to coordinate with, and understand them. A client-business contract is a partnership, so it is important to continue working with them and figure out the best approaches to tackling problems. By letting them know that you are always accessible and easy to communicate with, your client will appreciate their experience working with you.
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