What type of client retention strategy does your small business have? Is client retention an area where you have let business be business? If so you will want to rethink this. Research has been done that proves it is more expensive for a company to search for new clients than it is to keep the ones they have coming back for their goods and services. Now you are asking yourself how do you do that right? Advertising to attract new clients is easy although expensive retention however is usually inexpensive but requires thought and often time. That is what customers expect out of you though is to know that you are thinking of them and that you value their business.
In times when everyone is cutting back and budgets have begun to exist client retention strategy planning is growing in importance to your business. In order to develop a plan that will work for your company you need to ask yourself one pertinent question, “What can you do as the owner of the business to keep current customers happy and coming back?”
- Constant Contact: There is an email program called constant contact that helps business owners keep in touch with clients. This is one way to handle keeping in touch with clients but there are many others too. It is important to look at your top clients and consider at least the top twenty five these are most likely the clients that pay to keep your business going. Take time each season to call them and touch base. Often these calls will lead to business as they will have some project they are working on that involves you. Lunch dates can be very inexpensive but open the door to reaching your client on a much more personal level.
- Keep In The Loop: This is done by networking and attending events sponsored by local business groups. When clients see you interacting with other clients of theirs this often send a message of goodwill which will only help in retaining customers. Newsletters are a great way to your name and the firm in the minds of clients also. Anything you can do to keep your name top of mind will only benefit client retention.
- Make certain deals for only repeat clients. Advertised special that eliminate repeat customers often turn away some. Make sure all with all advertised special that you offer a deal for new clients as well as returning clients.
- Good customers like to be remembered and surprised. When out and about stop in with a tray of cookies or loaves of bread to snack on from other local small businesses. If you see an order being processed for a client you have not talked to lately throw in a hand written note to let them know they are on your mind.
- Make sure your records are current and that you have a full list of clients past and present. A detailed log of contacts helps in keeping track of them and can instantly obtain their information when needed.
- Take time to listen to your customers. Remembering information about them and their families and their business will show that you care and our listening when they speak to you.
Communication is the key in client in retention strategies no matter what business industry you are in. If you maintain client contact and abide my ethical business practices you are well on your way to having a client retention strategy that works for you.