Remember your determined pursuit of that client? How about the love you showed them when they became a bona fide prospect? All those promises; all that attention!
What changed? What happened to the love?
Getting repeat customers and acquiring new clients takes time and is an expensive endeavor as well. Retaining and growing clients is the name of the game, if you want your business to be profitable, of course. Losing clients is exhausting, demoralizing and leads you down the path to insolvency.
So why go there?
Showing clients the love is not at all difficult. In fact, it should be a habit, a routine. You woo them, win them (we hope!), and then by goodness wow them again and again and again. Now THAT makes good business sense!
Again, it’s not that hard. Here are three ways you can keep getting repeat customers and also keep your current clients coming back for more:
Dazzle Them with your Deliverables
You worked so hard to get them to listen, and you served up a platter of ideas for how to work with them. Now, with the business and reputation on the line, you must be 100% certain to deliver on what you promised. One of the best ways to guarantee client satisfaction is to set reasonable expectations and control their outcome. If you promise the moon yet can only deliver the stars, you have missed the mark entirely. The disappointment of a “lesser quality” deliverable will put the client relationship in jeopardy. It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver rather than leave the client looking for more.
Look Ahead, Take the Reins, and Become a Trusted Business Resource
Wayne Gretzky was an elite hockey player (his nickname: The Great One) who raised the bar for those playing with and against him. He didn’t just set career records because he was looking out for action; he scored goals and made assists because he anticipated where the action would be. The analogy rings true for your client relationships. Try to look ahead, take initiative, and put in the hard work required to stay in front of the competition. Surprise and inspire your clients with your creative, strategic thinking. Waiting for clients to tell you what they need leaves you in a reactive role rather than as a proactive resource. Remember: it is fairly easy to replace vendors; it’s vastly more difficult to replace a trusted, high performing business resource.
Keep Change to a Minimum
Changing the client’s key contact, adjusting your billing method, even bringing in a new team can all be disruptive for clients. Waiting until the last minute to alert them to any changes can be the kiss of death for a business relationship. If and when changes are necessary—change can be a solution, too!—be certain that clients are afforded advance warning to adapted to the new situation. No matter the change, keep it as straightforward and transparent as possible. It’s your job to do the heavy lifting; for your client, it should be business as usual.
It’s a business fact of life that, in order to succeed, you must keep your promises and deliver on established expectations. There’s enough uncertainty and insecurity in the business world that no one wants to be left guessing what’s next or doubting the quality of work to come. Honesty and integrity should be an integral part of your business brand. You’ll find that by maintaining these essential qualities you will make it easy for clients to keep coming back for more!
Republished by permission. Original here.