Did you know that the probability of you selling more to existing customers is 60 to 70% when to new prospects it’s only 5 to 20%? Also, 80% of your future profits will come from 20% of existing clients, and for most small businesses in North America, 65% of business comes from existing clients (Source: Small Biz Trends). And a customer who is “totally satisfied” brings 2.6 times as much revenue as one who is “somewhat satisfied.” Not to mention that they buy from you much more in their 3rd year of being your customer than in the first.
Those and many more other stats prove that focusing on retaining your clients is a key growth strategy for your business. That’s why today I’m going to talk about the four main ways you can do that.
1. Hone Your Customer Journey.
Your customer needs to have an excellent experience from when they start interacting with you, step by step, all the way to the end. Assuming your sales process wasn’t too pushy to evoke buyer’s remorse, your client feels super excited about their purchase and starting to work with you. Don’t let that critical point in their journey evaporate. Remember, you have an eager customer who can’t wait to work with you.
That’s why customer onboarding is your most excellent chance to maintain the momentum and show your clients how excited you are to have them on board.
The next in line is your customer service.
Serving your customers is the whole point of your business existence. So make it easy for them to be in contact with you and have their questions or concerns answered promptly. Excellent customer service is one way to show your uniqueness and stand out from the crowd.
As your clients move along in their journey, make it easy for them to work with you again. For example, my Dad is an insurance agent in Poland, and he always makes sure to call his customers ahead of time to let them know when their policy is renewing and that they need to budget for that for this spent. He also reviews the policies with them finds ways for them maybe to pay less for the same or better coverage.
Even if you sell products, know when you sold them and when your customer would run out. Get ahead of the game and contact them before that time. Make it easy for them to reorder. Remember that most unsatisfied customers will not say anything, they’ll leave and never come back. Most people stay quiet rather than be vocal about there dissatisfaction. I’m the primary example of such a customer.
2. Be More Valuable to Your Clients.
Always look for ways to deliver more value to your clients. And I don’t mean here lowering your prices. Instead, being attentive to their needs and their problems will allow you to see if you have the solutions. It might bring ideas for innovation in your business in the form of a brand new offering or a change in the one you have.
Through it, you’ll become the solution to your clients’ problems.
But even if you cannot solve them yourself, refer your customers to trusted partners and collaborators. Your clients will still remember that you cared, listened to them, and help them in the time of need. That’s how you’ll build trust and make many deposits in their emotional bank account.
Another way you can be more valuable to your clients is by nurturing them the same way you nurture your potential clients,i.e., your free content. When you deliver valuable information that helps them for free, you’ll always stay on top of their minds whenever they need something.
Personal development is another way to be more valuable to your clients.
Why? Because growing skills in your area of expertise will ensure that you provide better service or better products to them. Also, gaining business management skills will allow you to find better ways to run your business, which will ultimately benefit your clients. When you grow, your business grows because your clients benefit.
Lastly, be available to your clients, whether it’s with a concern they have a concern or have a question. It doesn’t mean you need to answer the second you receive their message, but don’t let them wait days on end for it either. For example, in my coaching practice, I’m available to my clients in between our weekly coaching calls via email or chat to answer any questions or help them through anything they’re working on that week. I am yet to have a client that has abused this perk.
3. Develop Genuine Relationships With Your Clients.
Genuine human to human connection builds trust and bonds. Be in regular contact with your client. And there are many ways to do that. Thank you cards, small gifts, regular check-ins, texts, PM’s/DM’s, or quick call will go a long way. Coffee chats virtual or in-person are also a great way to stay in touch and make emotional deposits in their trust account.
Moreover, asking for their opinion and feedback will not only be valued because people love to share their expertise, but also help you improve in areas we talked about in point one.
You can also read more on how to develop strong relationships with your clients here.
4. Be a Proactive Leader of Your Business
This last point summarizes and encompasses the other three. But because it’s so important, I wanted to single it out here.
You are the CEO of the leader of your business and brand. Therefore, taking 100% responsibility for it, especially when things don’t go right, is of utmost importance.
None of your clients is expecting you to be perfect because making mistakes is human. But when issues happen, don’t blame circumstances or other things and take full responsibility for them. Your clients don’t want to hear “the dog ate my homework” excuses. What they want and will appreciate is knowing what you have done to mitigate them and avoid them in the future. When you do that, most of your clients will be understanding. And compensating them with a gift will go a long way.
If you see ahead of time that you can’t deliver to what you’ve committed, say it. Whether it’s a deadline, delivery delay, or anything else, step in front of that and tell your client what’s going on. Also, tell them what your plan to mitigate the issue is. One of the worst feelings as a customer is being blindsided when expecting something to happen, and it doesn’t. You will be more trustworthy this way. When you proactively communicate issues, you show respect and care for the best interest of your clients.
Moreover, as a leader also listen and ask questions before speaking. Effective communication is key to a successful business. Most issues I’ve ever seen in my career happened due to miscommunications. Listen to understand and stay tuned to your clients’ needs avoids problems down the road.
Last but not least, be focused on innovation. True leaders want to better their businesses to serve their customers better. Innovation is a state of mind and skill that you can have, and I strongly encourage you to develop.
Customers are the bloodline of your business.
If you’re a bit like me, you started the business to serve and help people, your clients. Now you must ensure you do everything you can to enhance and strengthen the trust they deposited in you when they chose your solutions.
And if you need help looking at your customer journey to see where you could improve it, or figuring out how to be more valuable to your clients, schedule a free brainstorming session with me here, and let’s get to work!