10 February 2016

9 Ways to Keep Clients Loyal and Boost Your Client Retention

9 Ways to Keep Clients Loyal and Boost Your Client Retention

If, like thousands of businesses out there, you’re looking to turn the dial on your ROI and grow your business, you’ve probably been mostly focusing your marketing on client acquisition.

More clients means more money, right?

Well, as the marketplace becomes ever more saturated, Social Media becomes crowded and SEM becomes more expensive, prudent marketers have been looking elsewhere to make a difference to their agency.

Increasing the retention rate of clients can help boost profitability in the short and long term. A loyal customer can be more valuable to you than a new customer, and there isn’t the same cost associated as with new customer acquisition.

But how exactly to go about increasing the retention rate? Here we offer you some top tips.

Understanding these points of view and communicating deadlines, progress toward goals, what’s included in a project, your process, your communication style, etc., is essential for making sure expectations are met. This, in turn, will keep clients happy with the relationship for longer

1. Keep Your Client’s Expectations Realistic - Then Over Deliver.

We all know of clients that get over-excited and expect to see results immediately. You should communicate clearly from day 1 (and then continually afterwards) exactly what they can expect, how they can expect it and when they will expect it. Explain your processes to them and ensure they understand everything about the way you work. This will keep the relationship good, expectations reasonable and your client happy.

A method for starting this process is to share case studies with your client during your sales process. This will help them to see what kind of agency you are, how you work and what they can expect from you. It gives them an idea of exactly how you will work together

If you can then over deliver on your promises, your client will be thrilled and sure to come back for more

2. Frequently tell your client what is going on and share results with them

Your client wants to know exactly what they are getting for their money, and they are far more likely to be happy with your agency if you are consistently delivering results. You should demonstrate to them exactly how you have helped increase leads and retention levels, and back it up with data. Show them what you did, the results you achieved, and what you will do in the future to improve.

3. Have a “next step” in mind, and communicate it to your client

Keeping the idea of a “next step” in your client’s mind is essential. They will want to know what the plan for the future looks like. A great way to do this is by creating a roadmap for the future of your work, so have your account executives regularly redraw and renovate their plans to keep everything fresh and on point. Include steps for nex projects and clearly demonstrate your excitement in extending your relationship with your client.

4. Regularly ask for feedback and seek to improve

There’s no way you can improve unless you know what you’re doing wrong. Why do clients leave your marketing company? What would make your client even happier?

Be sure to regularly ask for feedback from your clients. Doing so on a project basis, for example, will allow you to notice if your client’s satisfaction levels are decreasing and you need to improve something. Being proactive about this not only shows your willingness to improve, but helps you learn for future projects and allows you to identify problems you and your team may not have considered.

5. Remind them of the good times

At the same time as getting feedback and seeking to improve, client retention rates will increase if you are sure to demonstrate to them exactly what has gone right so far. It’s not enough to simply deliver results and expect your client to be thrilled. If you can build memories around your successes and show just how valuable your marketing company has been in improving your client’s digital marketing efforts, for example, they’re more likely to remember these moments and consider extending your relationship.

6. Be consistent

Sure, your client may have said they want a “fun” agency that’s “willing to take a risk”, but that doesn’t mean they want inconsistency.

Have a set process for the onboarding of new clients where you share your workflows and previous projects. Discuss with them your project management techniques and show them how efficient and professional you are.

Sure, you want to be creative and you need to be flexible, but having a fixed backbone in terms of your approach to projects encourages you to be creative as you seek to improve upon a process that already works.

7. Integrate a client relationship marketing strategy into your business

Far too frequently agencies forget about their marketing strategies once they have a client on board, and leave all communication to the account manager. A great way to further personalize the relationship and build trust is to set up a monthly newsletter from the CEO. You can also have more senior members of staff attend quarterly meetings. This will show how seriously your agent takes the client, and how interested you are in creating a lasting relationship.

Similarly, building relationships with team members other than the account manager will help your client to understand the company better and, should your account manager leave the company, your client is unlikely to walk away too since their relationship isn’t just built around one individual.

8. Get a CRM system and keep a record of communication

Detailed notes of the history of your relationship with a client will help you when you onboard new staff members. They can quickly understand the dynamics of the relationship and any previous issues that have been encountered, and be prepared to build upon this relationship

By adopting a CRM system you can store pointers from meetings, phone calls and share useful tips around the preferences of the clients and any ongoing issues. This will help improve customer retention levels as the client sees your invested interest in their company.

9. Boost loyalty with kindness

Happy customers are loyal customers and happiness can be found in kindness. You can perform acts of kindness for your client by offering them a surprise gift or gesture. Perhaps you finish a project early, or take the client out for a meal.

Another way to show kindness to your client is to do something that delights them, and shows them that your work for them goes above and beyond the ordinary expectations. They may expect you to deliver upon the expectations you set out to them, but they may not expect a blog post that shows the behind the scenes action at a joint-company event, or a report on an aspect of their digital marketing that they didn’t expect.