There’s nothing more elating than that feeling after getting a new client, but what about maintaining that happiness in your clients beyond the first win?
One of the cornerstones of my coaching approach is creating a clear plan to keep your clients happy. An unhappy client is not just bad for your bottom line, it also saps your positive energy out of the business as you have to focus on repairing the relationship so they don’t go somewhere else.
If you want lifelong happy clients then you need to think beyond just getting the clients and more on how to maintain the relationships. Here are my 10 tips for how to do it:
Meet their needs – Find out what your customers want and then give it to them. You may get this information on a larger scale through market research, or on a smaller scale by asking individual customers about their requirements. Continue to meet their changing needs over time.
Fix problems – If part of the problem has been you (your product or service), acknowledge it and then do your best to fix it straight away. If you do this well, research indicates that your customers will become even more loyal.
Remain in contact so you are front of mind – This may be through a mail-out, phone call, e-zine, email, customer visit – depending on your business and relationship. However a general rule of thumb is no more than once a week and no less than 3 months in between.
Ensure your product and/or service is of good quality – Use yourself as a litmus test. Make sure it is at least at the level that you would be happy with.
Remind them of the value of their purchase (quality and value for money) – Tell them about the benefits of their purchase to ensure peace of mind around their decision to buy from you. This could include putting more product detail on their invoice, or sending a letter congratulating them on their purchase.
Make it easy for them to purchase from you – This could be that you take care of them, minimise the work they have to do such as paperwork, follow-up, phone calls and travel. It may also be making choices easier by providing information clearly or labelling a product effectively.
Tailor the service or product for them (or at least make sure they perceive it that way) – It may be especially for them if they are working part time, are vegetarian, or need space and comfort for their big family. Find the point of difference you can focus on and reasonably provide.
Respond to requests in a timely manner – Not only is a deal often sealed by the person who responds quickly with a quote or information or a phone call, but if this happens on a regular basis, the customer will stick with you. We all like to feel like we matter.
Deliver what you said you would – Meet expectations. If changes are necessary, make sure you keep the customer up to date on the changes so there are no unwelcome surprises.
Be consistent – This builds trust and ensures customers feel comfortable and secure. Have systems and processes in place so they get a similar experience each time. This is about familiarity, generally feeling looked after and knowing what to expect.