Why you need a client retention strategy
Think of your current dream client.
The one you have right now who pays on time, preaches your services to others, values what you have to offer and thanks you for your time.
Now imagine you have a new service you’re ready to market to the world.
Who will it be easier to sell this new service to?
Your current dream client who’s already loyal to you, or a new lead who’s never used your services before?
Your current dream client already knows you, they value you, and they trust you.
This is why a client retention strategy is absolutely essential.
Generating new business takes time and marketing dollars. It’s also unpredictable.
You might have a killer month bringing on 2-3 new clients, only to have a great one leave you at the same time.
Without a client retention strategy to keep your current dream clients happy, engaged and loyal, you’re spinning your wheels onboarding new clients while others are dropping like flies.
This takes loads of time and money. And it’s exhausting.
On the other hand, you can spend about half the time (or less) on client retention efforts than you would on lead generation. And it’s not that hard, especially if you have automated systems in place.
Still need convincing? Read on…
4 Reasons You Need a Client Retention Strategy
1. Save time and money
Searching for new clients, acquiring contact info, and marketing your services devours one of your most valuable assets — your time. It is a well-known fact: it costs less time and money to get business from return customers than it does to secure new ones.
Your current clients already know what you offer, and are willing to pay a premium price for it because they understand your value. If they’re loyal to your business, they’re already halfway sold when you present them new services.
2. Even out business cash flow
Subscription-based models work great for this.
If you can find a way to bring back your best clients month after month, then you, my friend, have stuck predictable income gold.
Remember, your current clients are already hooked – they’ve invested their time and trust in you. Now, give them a reason to retain your services so they don’t have to worry about the problem you solve ever again.
- You’re a relationship coach, and send bi-weekly emails with exercises that your clients can do at home.
- You’re a graphic designer, and give your clients one beautiful, custom-designed email newsletter each month.
- You’re a copywriter, and post two SEO-focused blog posts monthly on your clients’ websites.
By customizing ongoing services to your clients’ wants and needs, you’re ensuring you can count on a steady stream of income that also keeps them coming back for more.
3. Solicit more online reviews
Your current dream clients — the ones who really know you and already think highly of you — are more likely to give you a review online.
Especially if you ask for one.
By offering amazing ongoing customer service over and over again, you get more referrals and you are more referable.
If you deliver rave-worthy experiences, your clients won’t bat an eye if you ask for an online review or testimonial.
Keep your best clients around, and you’ll increase the odds that they’re willing to share a genuine and detailed story about their experience with you to the world. And I don’t need to tell you, those testimonials are one of the most powerful selling tools you can employ as part of your marketing arsenal.
Want more tips on asking your top customers for reviews? Read: How To Ask For Testimonials From Your Clients (And Get Them)
4. Build a community of brand ambassadors
The longer a person engages in your services, the stronger their loyalty (if you’re doing an amazing job with customer service and delivering on your outcomes).
Your repeat customers will help build a community of like-minded customers with the same values, wants and needs.
In other words, your prime market.
These advocates are more likely to create user-generated content (social media posts, blogs, video reviews, etc.), and become your very own brand ambassadors.
By retaining your best clients, you’re nurturing a group of people who will sing your praises and send referrals your way at the drop of a hat.
Examples of Client Retention Strategies That Work
Use a business subscription model
As opposed to the one-time purchase model, a subscription model shifts the focus to the lifetime value of your customer. By using your services month-to-month, they experience more engagement and exposure, and form a tighter bond with your brand.
Offer referral and loyalty programs
Most businesses and entrepreneurs leave word-of-mouth marketing up to chance. Let me tell you — based on years of experience helping clients to set up their own referral marketing programs, you must ask. People will happily give you a referral, especially if you offer incentives or even a simple ‘thanks!’
When you’re ready to deep-dive into building up your referral marketing program, read: 6 Steps To Generating A Flood Of New Clients Through The Power Of Referral Marketing
Give away educational freebies
Add value to your services with unique and exclusive educational offerings that keep your client community engaged and interested. Monthly webinars, quarterly eBooks, Facebook Live sessions, etc. are all great ways of delivering extra freebies that showcase your credibility and deliver additional value to your audience.
Deliver customer service on your client’s turf
Know where your clients are looking for support, and go to them. If your clients want email communication, show up in their inbox. If they want phone calls, schedule regular office hours. If they like to ping you through Facebook messenger, set your notifications or use chat bots. Make it easy and convenient to work with you.
Show your thanks
In the age of instant messaging, handwritten ‘thank you’ notes are a great way to stand out and go the extra mile. Take the time to say thank you to your customers — outside of a mass email campaign or a customer purchase. A phone call works, too. A little goes a long way.
And be human…
Know your customers, and figure out what they want and need and where their pain points lie. Next, find ways to continually surprise, delight, and motivate them.
Get in touch. Reach out. Be a human. Create relationships with your clients that last.
And if you’re still wanting more, let’s talk! I help my clients develop retention programs that dramatically boost sales and keep their best clients coming back again and again.
You can also sign up for my FREE Masterclass where I’ll walk you through creating a strategy for raising your rates, getting booked solid with high-end clients, and scaling your business to 6- and 7-figures.