Monday, December 19, 2011

Tip #370: 10 Strategies For Improving Client Retention In 2012

With 2011 drawing to a close, many business owners we know are looking to put this year behind them and start finding ways to increase their businesses in 2012.

In today's competitive business environment, we have learned that it is highly important to focus on building stronger relationships with existing clients. And to help you do a better job at this, we have compiled 10 tips that could easily turn your existing clients into proactive advocates for your business.

The 10 Tips To Help With Your Client Retention Are:

Tip #1: Spend 10 To 20 Minutes Every Day Speaking With Two Existing Clients -- Even though e-mail has become the communication method of choice for most businesses, we highly recommend picking up the phone and calling your clients. Once you have a client on the phone, ask them, "If you had a magic wand and could wave it over us, what would you have us do that we are not already doing?" Also, ask "What do you need from us that we are not providing?" After listening to your clients, execute the best ideas that work for your business.

Tip #2: Ask A Select Group Of Clients To Serve On Your Board --
By assigning your top or most creative clients to your board, you will have access to top-level thinking. Chances are they will come up with ideas that you never thought of or did not think were important enough to implement.

Tip #3: Send Your Clients Articles About Their Business And/Or Industry -- Your clients like to know that you have their best interest in mind. Make an effort to send relevant articles to them. This small and simple gesture will help create a much more loyal customer base.

Tip #4: Invite Clients To Test A New Product Or Service (At A Discounted Price/Fee) Before You Offer It To Everyone Else -- Exclusivity, or "invitation only," is an excellent way to get someone linked to your business. Not only that, but it will also save you time by acting as a beta test program. Their feedback will help you either fine-tune the deliverables or decide to dismiss them all together.

Tip #5: Start An Alliance With Your Clients Via A Seminar, Marketing Effort/Workshop Or Special Affair -- The more opportunities you take to spend time with your clients, the more connected they will become to your business. And the more connected they are, the stronger an advocate or referral source they become.

Tip #6: Give Them Added Value -- There is nothing wrong with giving your clients something special, like 2-for-1 deals, buy 1 get X free deals, dollar or percentage discounts, free or discounted design services, etc.

Tip #7: Connect Clients Who Share Similar Interests Or Ideas --
If you have a client who needs help in a particular area in which you know another client is proficient, get the two clients together. You will look like a hero by finding someone who could solve their problem and, in the process, foster a sense of friendship and trust.

Tip #8: Know Your Competition --
In today's ever-shrinking business world, you need to know how your competition is doing. Google your competition, visit their website and call them up as if you were a prospective buyer. What you find will amaze you, not to mention provide you with valuable information that will help your business.

Tip #9: Shop Your Own Company -- Hire a third party and have them call your company posing as a prospective buyer. Afterwards, ask them about their experience. The details they can provide will help you develop a better understanding of how you should be handling new clients.

Tip #10: Your Customers Are Always Right --
For many, practicing this philosophy can be tough, especially when you know a customer is wrong. No matter what, work on making a client happy.

Executive Summary: Word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful advertising there is for any business, but it is only attained by having clients who already trust and believe in you. If your clients hold you in high esteem, they will not only tell people about you, but also buy from you repeatedly.

For more information, visit our website.

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