In tough economic times it is even more essential to hang on to your existing clients. As most of us know, it costs far more to drum up new business than it does to keep your existing customers happy and to gain repeat business from them.
- So what can you do to hang on to those precious existing customers? Essentially, let them know that they are your highest priority. Don’t get complacent and assume that they will be with you forever because they may be looking at cost cutting or have your competitors trying to entice them away from you. Here is some useful advice:
- Think about the long-term. You need to think about the needs of your customers in the long term. So plan with them for what you can do over the coming months to grow their business. They will appreciate your commitment and your forward thinking. If you are dealing with design or web solutions, involve your web designer at all times so that you can work together on helping the needs of your client.
- Stay in touch. This means allowing a dialogue. So yes, whilst it is important for you or your website designer to be sending regular e-mails and keeping your Facebook page updated, it’s also essential to allow your clients to talk to you and for you to listen! Have regular meetings or telephone calls planned. Give them the chance to raise any concerns.
- Invest in your employees. They form part of your corporate identity and their ability to interact with your clients will reflect on you. Make sure your employees have the skills to effectively do their jobs. It’s not just your employees but your colleagues who will also have an effect on your clients. For example, regularly involve your web design agency, talk to them so they can help you to do a better job and to achieve a better result. The more passionate your employees and colleagues are about what they are doing, the more your clients will feel involved and rewarded.
- Offer something extra. Price promotions and deals can work well but can be easily copied. Instead, it’s better to offer something unique as an added extra to your clients that makes you stand out from your competitors. If you make or produce garden furniture can you offer to install it as well? Can you offer free servicing? Think about your type of business and what would work well.
- Make it convenient. For customers, this is still a big draw. Make it convenient in all senses whether it is through contacting you to placing and tracking an order. Your website forms a big touch point for liaising with customers so talk with your web designer about keeping your website fresh, regularly updated and easy to use. It makes sense to audit your site regularly.
Take time to think about how to keep your existing clients happy and ways in which to retain them. You may end up with some surprising results.