As many in business know and have likely experienced, acquiring clients is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. Retaining them is entirely another. Client retention is defined as the activity that an organization undertakes in order to reduce customer defections. The average business experiences 20 percent client attrition annually. So in order to achieve a growth of 10 percent, you must cover client attrition first, thus making the real goal closer to 30 percent annually. The inability to retain clients has true costs that shouldn’t be undervalued. Not only is it 50 percent easier to sell to existing clients than new ones (per this article by Forbes) , one statistic shows it will cost your company five times more to attract a new client than to keep an existing client.
It’s said that 96 percent of clients don’t complain, they just leave silently. So where should you start? Find Out What’s Important Set the tone for the relationship by determining what your client needs and wants, and what they expect to receive. Set expectations early as a core point to avoid misunderstanding how your clients think, and focus on actual customer behavior rather than perceived or predicted behavior.
This should be simple, right? Take the simple step of communicating regularly with your clients, providing updates and progress reports or advising them of new products and services. Clients will feel valued when you seek out their opinions.
Stand For Something
People do business with people they trust. Make it personal with your clients and invest in them to build a stronger relationship and commitment. Many clients point to shared values as a primary reason for doing business. Stand for something, and your clients will build loyalty.
The statistics show that 80 percent of future revenue will come from 20 percent of your current clients. Deliver what you agreed to deliver, and then deliver more. Remember that clients don’t owe you their loyalty, but consistently providing an extraordinary experience will build that loyalty.
Soliciting performance feedback from your clients will create value because they feel like their opinion matters. Client complaints provide insight into areas of opportunity from a possible lack of service, as well as chance to retain their business before they walk away.