By Emily Farrar
While some small business owners may struggle with getting clients, it’s how to keep clients that’s really got a lot of you stumped. The truth is that if someone is working with you, then stops working with you, it could very well have something to do with you or your company.
It’s much easier – and much less expensive – to build up your repeat business instead of attracting new clients. Here’s how to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to hang on to the clients you have now, and get them to move up the expenditure pyramid and making larger investments with you.
Go Above and Beyond
Do everything in your power to make sure your client is not just satisfied, but amazed with your services. Surprise them, delight them, and give them the refreshing kind of service they can’t wait to tell their friends about. Honestly, when considering the average customer service level of most businesses nowadays, it shouldn’t be too hard to stand out from the mediocre crowd.
Underpromise and Overdeliver
Want to know how to keep clients? Tell them you’ll have those mock ups to them by Friday, then send them on Wednesday. You look like you’re on top of your game, the client is pleasantly surprised, and everyone enjoys working together that much more.
If, however, you are going to be late on a deadline, be sure to clearly communicate with your client as soon as possible. Acknowledgment goes a long way when something like this happens. Don’t blame your assistant or go into long winded explanations of why you’ve fallen short – simply say “I know I promised this to you Thursday, but the printer is delayed and it’s not going to be finished until Friday – so sorry!”
Make it Right
Sometimes you’re going to screw up. That’s life. When thinking of how to keep clients happy, think of what you can do when the proverbial ball is dropped. Giving a refund goes a long way, as does offering to fix the problem at no charge.
Again, acknowledgment is key. How you handle things when problems arise is how your clients increase their trust in you. Show them that you can make it right, no matter how big the blunder.
Give “Seeding” a Try
You don’t just need to know how to keep clients, you need to know how to take clients to the next level with your business. If you run a marketing firm and have a client for whom you do social media, you might mention another client who’s just hired you to redesign their website.
Casually mentioning the other services you provide encourages clients to take the next step with you without them feeling “sold.” Both of you can then envision the future in terms of working together.
What’s your best tip for how to keep clients?