From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, no business wants to lose clients. However, as business grow, retaining clients can be difficult. It could be tempting to focus more energies and resources on obtaining more clients, but this is misguided if you’re putting your current client pool at risk. In one study cited in a Forbes Magazine article, businesses that want to sell a new product or service have a much better shot at selling to their existing clients, and it’s not even close. The odds of selling to an existing client can be as much as 70%. Reaching out to potential clients, the odd of selling a new product or service is as little as 10%. Therefore, it’s always important to do what you can to retain your client base. Here are several things to keep in mind:
- Don’t Take Your Clients for Granted: As with most things in life, it can be very easy to take things for granted once you have them. How many movies are out there where a couple is having problems because things aren’t the same as they used to be? They might go to therapy or a romantic getaway to try and rekindle things However, in business, there is no therapy. Rather, clients can just get their services elsewhere. Make it a point to be as hungry for your client’s success as on the day they signed on for your services.
- Sometimes It’s the Simple Gestures that Matter the Most: One easy way to show your clients that you have a vested interest in your relationship with them is by extending small courtesies. For example, it’s Easter and many companies have purchased corporate holiday greeting cards to send to their clients to wish them their best. Little things like this matter. If you haven’t called them in a little while, make it a point to do so to catch up and see if there are any ways you can improve your services. This is often a good time for a possible upsell.
- Set Up a System that Will Work For All Customers: Entrepreneur and business writer, Patrick Hull, recommends that you put a checklist in place that will help employees provide the same service to every client. This includes asking themselves when was the last time they called a particular client, has the client benefited from a particular product or service, and what feedback have they received from the client. Having a system in place like this will help provide the same quality service to all clients and ensure some aren’t left behind.
- Minimize Growth: It can be very tempting to grow as quickly as possible to increase your scope in the industry. The more clients you have, the more money you make, right? This is only true if you can retain the same quality service to those 100 clients as you did to your first 10. If not, you might want to consider slower growth, so you can sustain those rigid, but necessary standards of service.
This spring, take a look at how you’re treating your clients to see if there are ways you can improve your outreach to them to ensure a long and healthy business relationship.
Sandy is a former entrepreneur and freelance business writer. She lives with her husband and new-born in South Jersey.