It’s simple math.
If you want to grow your income, you need to increase sales.
If you want to increase sales, you need to sell more of your product or service.
For most entrepreneurs, if they want to sell more of their product or service, they go looking for new clients.
As a result, they focus less on their current clients and their client retention percentage plummets.
Here’s the deal: client acquisition has always been — and always will be — far more challenging, time consuming and expensive than client retention. Fact.
Because your current clients have already chosen to invest in you. They’ve taken a cold, hard look at you and your competition, and have hand-chosen you because they believe you’re the best person/business/system for the job.
The hardest part is already out of the way: convincing your leads that they should sign on to your services, finalizing your contract, going through the onboarding process, integrating them into your systems etc.
Think of it this way…
You probably have your go-to grocer for buying food. You shop there over and over because you’ve memorized the layout of the store, you know how to navigate the parking lot, you’ve mapped the quickest route to get there, and you can count on them to have the foods and prices you expect.
Transitioning to a different grocery store is a lot of work. You have to find the cereal aisle, read labels on unfamiliar brands, discover which produce is fresh (and isn’t), and learn in real time if you’re supposed to pack your groceries at the checkout or not. Hope you brought your bags.
Because switching over is so much work, we avoid it. Your clients will avoid switching away from you, too, if you give them great reasons to stay.
Why do clients leave?
There are a handful of reasons:
They find better pricing or value elsewhere (with your competitors)
They don’t have a budget for your services any longer
They change their business model and no longer need your service
They have a friend or relative who can provide the service instead
They feel like you don’t care about them or their business
It’s heartbreaking when any of these happen, especially when it’s one of your best clients.
Your top clients keep you afloat, and your business can’t grow without a client retention strategy for keeping them. You’ve worked hard to earn their business, and now your top priority should be increasing their customer lifetime value (CLV) for your business.
In other words, you need to be focusing on raising the value a client brings to your business. This is SO much easier and cost-effective than constantly searching for the next big client, and the next, and the next.
Client Retention Tips for Keeping (and WOWing) Your Best Clients
Communicate and Set Expectations
Keep your clients in the loop. Don’t leave them wondering why they’re paying for your services, or what the status is of a project, or why you haven’t called them.
Part of your onboarding process should be laying out your communication expectations. Outline how communication is going to work in your contract or initial meeting.
- Who are the point people on either side?
- How will you communicate (email, phone, conference call, morse code, etc.)?
- How often will you reach out (weekly updates, monthly phone calls, etc.)
- When they can expect responses to questions (do you typically reply within a day, or hours)?
Instead of leaving your clients to wonder how you’re fulfilling your end of the bargain, let them know what steps you’re taking and how often you’ll reach out to give them updates, guidance, analytics and more.
Don’t give them reason to question why they’ve hired you.
Be an Authority in Your Niche Field
Find ways to demonstrate your expertise, and show them why they can’t live without you and your service/product/knowledge/program.
Learn what your current clients value (you should already know this if you’ve profiled your ideal customers, and ways to attract them to your business), and reach them on familiar turf with information that showcases how and why your services deliver the results they crave.
- Publish case studies or success stories with client results
- Contribute articles in relevant (to your clients) publications
- Share current events or news that relates your clients’ lives and the services you offer
Remember, to be an authority in your field, you should have a rock-solid grasp on your niche market and the unique services you offer them.
You may not be the authority on runners coaching, but perhaps you’re the authority on training recreational athletes for Olympic-length triathlons. See the difference?
Want more clarity on defining your Super Power niche? Read Define Your Ideal Customers and Rapidly Increase Your Income
Improve Client Retention by Creating Remarkable Value-Added Content
Show all the ways in which you solve your clients problems and make their lives better.
Deliver content so specialized, they can’t find it elsewhere. If someone wants the expert on specific issue XYZ, they’ll need to seek you out as the ultimate resource.
Again, maybe you’re not the copywriting expert of the world. But maybe you’re the go-to SEO copywriter for independent flower shops in the U.S. If I want to sell more flowers online, I’m going to seek you out!
Go beyond monthly reporting, and share super-custom analytics, blog posts, webinars and more that your clients won’t find anywhere else.
Other ideas for value-added deliverables:
- Private Facebook Groups
- Members-only conference calls
- eBook or downloadable PDF
- Networking events or classes
If you want to raise lifetime value of your best clients, make it so they’ll never want to leave — so they can’t live, function, operate or breathe the same without you. Give them information they learn to crave, and exceed their expectations with extras that surprise and delight.
Go Above and Beyond Your Clients’ Expectations
Wow your clients.
Over-deliver on your promises.
Give them rave-worthy experiences they can’t help but share with their peers online and in-person. (“So and so is the best there is! Great investment! Totally worth it!”)
By the way, read more here about How to Ask for Client Testimonials (and Get Them!)
Do the unexpected. Follow-through, and then give more.
And be human. We sometimes like to wear our robot armor when working with others in business, and the end result leaves us looking, sounding, dancing like everyone else. Drop your protective shield and be a real person. One with whom they can bond and fall in love.
When you’re personal with your communication, your clients are going to experience that warm and cozy “I matter” feeling, instead of believing they’re just another number/statistic/client.
Yes, Client Retention Takes Work
But not as much work as losing them.
By making sure your best clients are sticking with you through thick and thin, you’re not only ensuring a steady stream of income, but you also have an engaged audience on hand whenever you’re ready to announce new products or services.
Upselling to your current audience will always be easier than reaching outside you client base, where you may be an essential unknown and wild card.
Want to keep going with this? Good.
Join my Free Masterclass where we dive even deeper into the tactics my clients are using right now to scale their businesses to six- and seven- figure levels. We talk client retention, attracting more high-end clients to your business, and a whole lot more.
Or we can talk. Schedule a call and let’s go over what you can be doing to multiply your income, stand out from your competition, and create an unforgettable brand your clients will stay loyal to for years to come.