How to retain clients
Published on sales-initiative.com on April 16, 2018
It goes without saying that every business needs clients. But while acquiring new clients is important for growth, companies who overlook their current customers risk losing out. Retaining existing clients not only boosts profits, but can also be 5-25% cheaper than acquiring new ones. It’s clear then that paying attention to your client retention strategy is good for business.
At 20/20 Productions we have long-standing relationships with several clients, including the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) who we have worked with for more than 20 years. Here are some steps you can take now to keep clients coming back.
When providing a service to clients, it’s important to fully recognise their needs. To remain competitive, a clear understanding of their industry is key. Keep abreast of industry changes, and show that you are adaptable to them.
When we first started producing events for CIPD, much of the technology we now use hadn’t even been invented! Showing your clients that you are flexible and responsive to new developments will reassure them that they are working with a provider who can offer them the best service.
Encourage an attitude of curiosity and innovation within your own team. Reward those who actively seek out new trends and developments, and tell your clients how you plan on incorporating your findings into the service you are providing them.
Show and tell
To retain clients, never be complacent. Even if they have been with you for years, it’s unwise to assume that a client will always opt to work with you. If you fail to provide a consistently good service, your customers will look elsewhere. It is up to you to show off the high-quality work and value for money that your company can provide.
Providing a great service isn’t the end of the story however. After you’ve completed a milestone or project for a client, don’t just hope that they notice what a good job you did – tell them!
Arrange a follow-up call or meeting and re-cap the completed work, measuring the results against the original brief. If you’re able to convey the quality of your work by both showing and telling, then you’re more likely to be front of mind next time another project is in the pipeline.
It’s all about trust
Too often, clients are let down by providers who promise the earth but fail to deliver the goods. This is a great way to attract new customers, but a terrible way to retain them.
Once you have gained a client’s trust, they are more likely to form brand loyalty towards you, making them much more reticent to go with another provider. We only need to look to the recent KFC debacle to understand why that would be the case.
Prove yourself consistently reliable and you’ll be the obvious choice for your clients next time around. Those who are already well trusted by their clients will be aware of the importance of maintaining that trust. It takes 12 good experiences to make up for a single negative one, so delivering on what you’ve promised is essential.
To conclude, if you want to retain your clients, consistently demonstrate that you offer a competitive, adaptable and reliable service. If you convey that successfully, you’ll be the obvious choice for your clients, time and time again.
By Alastair Scott, managing director, 20/20 Productions, an Edinburgh, Dubai and San Francisco-based production company delivering events, digital, film and creative projects.