Mastering the Art of Client Retention

The 13 Rules to Keep a Client.
Follow them. Be happy.

Your survival in business depends on good customer service. Here are ways to keep clients over the long term.
1.  Make every client feel important.

Tell the customer how important they are to you and then in some way give them something special. Remind yourself constantly to never take the client for granted. Treat them all like they are the only client and the number one client. GSD&M used the phrase "Legendary Client Service". Concept ways to make your service to your clients "Legendary".

2.  Be likeable.

Customers/clients buy from people they like and refuse to give business to people they don’t. An old Chinese phrase stated, " A man without a smile should not open a business."

3.  Manage client problems and solve them smoothly and quickly.

We are all just one lousy client experience away from losing a customer. Once we lose one, it is almost impossible to get them back. And not only that, an unhappy customer usually tells over 10 people!

4. Face to face communication with the client is by far superior than e-mails. Invite the client to lunch and develop a good relationship with them. And keep it going. It is all up to you.

5.  Follow-up beyond the sale.

Make sure the job is put to bed. Even after the job is complete, make sure the client is totally satisfied.
6.  Treat all size projects seriously and with respect.

Clients will not give you bigger projects unless you prove yourself with the small ones.

7. Do the best work that you can do for the client.

Make sure you are the best in the areas the client feels are important. If you are not, give the project to the expert and mark-up his time. Better to get less for a project than all for the project, but not a second job.

8. Exceed expectations in areas that would please the client. This might mean deliver more ideas and put more work into it. So what if you get paid less by the hour, you have a solid, happy client. Also, a happy client generates word-of -mouth advertising. Which leads to referrals and jobs that you did not have to cold call to get.

9. Respond swiftly by E-mail and the phone. A slow response means lack of caring for the clients needs and lack of organization skill. Even if you think it might show that you are really busy, just remember this, do you like to wait for anything or anybody?

10.  Make sure you also please the boss of the boss. Ask the right questions to go above the expectations of all players that are involved in the project.

11.  Find out answers to clients problems or questions. Go out of your way to do the helpful things for the client that are not in your job description. Even though this extra effort might be free, the client should reward you with more work in the future.

12.  Find the good in a client. This is a top priority. Appreciate them and be thankful that you have their business. Catch them doing something right. George Matthew Adams said, " Encouragement is oxygen to the soul." William James said, " The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."

13.  Address the clients needs, not yours. Don’t let your ego define what is right for the client. Even when you know it is not the best solution for the client. Work easy with the clients needs.

In this competitive world we live in, we need to remember how we like to be treated, then treat our customers the same way. If we do that, we should retain clients and continue to get referrals.

By Coby Neill
Image by Phil Date

James Neill owns Coby Neill Creative Creative Ad Agency
Author of 3 books



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