It takes more effort to land a new client than it does to retain an existing one. Instinctively, most business leaders know this, but the nature of client retention is changing.
Faced with the difficult task of engaging and retaining your clients who are bombarded with information, shiny object syndrome and sales pitches from every angle, you must find new ways to maintain your edge.
What compels a client to remain loyal, rather than signing on with the ‘newest, noisiest, supplier of the week’?
Added Value to Your Clients
Fundamentally, business owners understand that to retain clients, their services must provide value. Many businesses, however, think that value is tied strictly to pricing, and try to provide their services at the lowest cost.
While pricing is important, trying to compete on pricing alone is a losing battle. To inspire client loyalty, your business needs to add value to the services you offer. What does that look like?
At a basic level, for an automotive repair shop, it could mean every car in for service gets washed and vacuumed. For the accounting firm, it could be an online portal for client documentation uploads or the offer to deal directly with the CRA, saving the client time and hassle.
Whatever your industry, look for ways to offer an added value to your existing clients. Easier said than done, isn’t it?
Successful client retention strategies also include proactive services. Rather than waiting until the client needs something, businesses who are proactive in their approach will surprise, delight and help their customers grow their own business.
Shared Values Between You and Your Clients
A primary means of building a relationship with clients is through the development of shared values. By demonstrating that you are invested in the success of their business, you begin to strengthen your relationship with them.
When you invest in the success of your clients, you become a trusted adviser, and can develop a relationship that will last for a long time.
Instead of ‘showing your appreciation’ of your clients with tickets to a sporting event or with engraved dust collectors, offer them a chance to attend a workshop, seminar or gain access to training they likely couldn’t attend on their own.
Hosting a professional development program that has a proven track record of success and provides long term benefits to your clients is an excellent way of cultivating a shared value and vision for how to work together for the long term.
Offering a My Big Idea™ program as an exclusive, invitation-only event for your best clients allows you to position yourself as a valuable resource, and instills loyalty within those clients.
Hosting a workshop for selected clients not only demonstrates your commitment to their future success, it shows your recognition of their importance to your company.
Our goalsetting workshops provide your clients with additional tools they can use to build their business, which will in turn help you build your own. Wouldn’t you agree that is better than any ticket to a sporting event?
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing THE Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.