How To Keep Your Clients Happy

By May 21, 2009 Clients 5 Comments

It’s one thing getting clients, but do you know how to keep them happy? Client retention is just as important as getting the client signed up in the first place. So, how do you make sure that your clients stay with you for the long haul?

1. Be responsive

Being and staying responsive is very important, especially when it comes to the virtual relationship. Be prompt at replying to emails and returning voicemails. Even if you don’t know the answer, let your client know that you’ll get back to him/her when you’ve found out. If you hit on a problem, don’t hide it, let your client know. There’s nothing worse than being left in the dark, wondering if the work’s going to get done.

2. Exceed expectations wherever possible

If a client is expecting a 7 day turnaround on some work, how about trying to get it to him/her within 5 days? I just did this for a client who was counting on getting something back within a week. I sent it back within 5 days and they were really pleased.

3. Ask for feedback

Once your client has had an opportunity to work with you, ask for feedback and encourage any suggestions that they have about how you might improve on the service you give them. By asking for this kind of input, your client will really feel that you care about them and their business. They’ll also know that you’re focused on providing not just good service but excellent service. Think about it, how often do your service providers ask you for feedback? I bet not that often. How impressed would you be if your accountant asked you for feedback about his services?

4. Help them out

After a while you’ll get to know your clients and what might be useful to them. If you come across a relevant magazine, website or book that would help, tell them about it. Or if you know a good service provider, refer that person to them. It shows that you’re thinking of them, above and beyond the usual working relationship.

5. Build a connection

You don’t need to become your client’s best friend but try to engage with them on a more personal level than purely the working relationship.

This doesn’t have to take too much time or go beyond boundaries. For example, one of my clients mentioned that he would be away the following week because it was school holidays and he was taking the kids away. So next time I spoke to him I asked how it went and what he got up to with his little ones. We had a nice conversation which flowed naturally into the work. It doesn’t take much to remember details about your clients and be genuinely interested in them.

6. Keep promises

If you say you’re going to send information or check on something, make sure you do. I’m not sure why this is, but so many people say they’re going to do something and don’t. This reflects on your professionalism – if you can’t get back to them on something simple, what’s your work going to be like?

7. Reward them for staying with you

Sending birthday and holiday gifts to your clients is a nice touch. You could also send surprise gifts during the course of the year such as cinema tickets or a massage voucher.

These are a few ideas I came up with off the top of my head. I’m sure there are many more! Do any of you have any other ideas for keeping clients happy?

5 Comments

  • saniyyah says:

    I agreed with you ideas. I use each idea that you published plus more. When you cater so to speak with your clients and develop a good rapore with them they will keep coming back, because they are use to have their business handled in a certain kind of way and they can depend on you to get the job done.

    I normally send birthday cards, and other little gifts such as tee-shorts, baseball caps just to name a few.

  • Thanks for reminding us of these simple tips for client retention. Sometimes it is very easy to keep pushing, trying to land new clients and at the same time, neglect building a lasting relationship with our current clients.

  • Ezra Shua says:

    That is right; prety idea. However, I just want to add that a yearly discount of say 5% to 10% or may be on good business turnover would go a long way in keeping your clint happy.

    Thanks Lisa

  • Kennon Fort says:

    Lisa, way to go! This is well-articulated. There’s been a focus on this topic in some of my recent on-line activities to help businesses prosper.

  • michelle says:

    Thanks Lisa,

    Very well-written!

    With the advent of the internet, businesses are leaving no stone unturned to promote their businesses online. Among the various other means to market websites online, forum posting is turning into a popular option. To top that, it has been noted that visitors to websites by way of forums are worth more than any average visitor. Why? Simply because, forum visitors are active information seekers and engaged users, who are more likely to be interested in your services. However, you should note that forums are primarily beneficial for driving human traffic to your website. Search engine rankings follow closely and with a signature link with every post, you are assured greater visibility in the search engines too.

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