5 Tips for Retaining Clients


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5 Tips for Retaining Clients

There’s a catchy line in the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, when Washington tells Hamilton, “Winning is easy, young man; governing’s harder.” While client retention might not be the politics of trying to structure a brand new government, the principle feels relevant: it’s one thing to bring in a new client, and a new challenge altogether to actually hold onto them.

Few sales professionals or business owners want just a one-off sale. Ideally, you want to inspire loyalty in your clients. But with such a huge market, how do you keep your clients from looking towards your competition? Here are a few tips:

#1 – Streamline Your Onboarding

If onboarding is difficult for your clients from the start, they might buy your product or service once just to get it over with — but in the future, they’ll likely look for easier brands. That’s why it’s important to streamline your onboarding process. If that’s making an online purchase, make sure that all of your pages load correctly, that it’s easy to find products, add in payment methods, and check out.

You might also have a signup process on your website. If you can, try to keep this to one page. Make sure it’s clean and accessible on both desktop and mobile. If onboarding happens with an in-person sales professional, train your sales professionals to be clear and to make the clients comfortable. The easier the onboarding process, the more you build trust with that client from day one.

#2 – Optimize Your Customer Service

No client ever wants to feel that they are “just a number.” They want to feel valued and taken care of by the companies they work with — and they don’t want to feel like their time is wasted. Unfortunately, frustrating customer service processes that leave clients with little idea how to resolve their particular issue or reach an actual person with answers can drive clients away from your business. To build loyalty with your customers, you have to step up your customer service game.

One way to do this is through personalization. Instead of just giving a standard form answer or leading them to some FAQ, use the data you’ve collected or the communication you’ve had with that client to provide personalized and relevant service. If you can’t resolve their issue, you might suggest a compensatory offer that is specific to their needs. Listen to your customers and train your customer service team to treat customers with care, and they may be more likely to come back even after an issue occurs.

#3 – Be Consistent

If you want customers to come back to you consistently, you have to be consistent in your brand. It’s about building trust. Just because a client works with you once does not mean that they trust your brand. That will take work, and you can’t rest on your laurels with the first purchase.

Consider your brand values and your brand promise, whether it be to a specific standard of quality or to outstanding customer service. Whatever you promised, you need to stick with that and make sure you provide it. If you slip or begin to cut corners after the first purchase, customers will notice, and they won’t be impressed.

#4 – Invite Customer Feedback

To keep clients coming back, you have to understand what those clients want. Why not ask them what they think? Create quick, easy customer feedback surveys that customers can complete and consider offering incentives — such as a discount — to complete them. Ask for focus groups and send follow-up emails after customer service interactions asking customers what they thought about the help they received.

Another way to invite feedback is to make sure customers know where they can leave a review. Reviews allow them to say what they thought about your service, as well as share that with others. A good review may boost your visibility and bring in more customers. But even a bad review can show you where you need to grow and offer another chance to make things right with that customer.

#5 – Offer Incentives

Finally, give your customers an incentive to come back to your company. Everyone loves rewards, and you can reward your customers for being loyal to your brand. This will make it fun to stick with your brand, as well as build a good rapport with your customers. Some of these incentives might include:

  • Discount codes
  • Special, personalized offers
  • Loyalty programs offering rewards at certain tiers
  • Early access
  • VIP events for loyal customers only

In addition to these ideas, you can also offer a discount code in exchange for referrals. This will incentivize customers in two ways. First, it will incentivize them to invite their family and friends to try your brand. Second, it will give them a reason to come back and use that discount code.

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