Client retention is vital for business growth and sales success. But how do you improve your client retention?
Utilising feedback, pre-call planning and post-call documenting to give yourself the best shot at retaining clients.
“They say” it’s 7x more expensive to find a new client than to keep one. If you think about how much time and effort it takes to move someone from suspect to payment in your pipeline, you can begin to understand why.
What is CHURN and Why is it important?
The CHURN rate for a business is the number of clients you lose in a given period of time. Let’s say for simplicity’s sake that you work with 12-month contracts with your clients, the ANNUAL CHURN rate for your business will be the percentage of your clients that leave after the 12-month contract expires. Let’s say you have 100 clients on 12-month contracts, and 5 of them don’t resign, your CHURN rate is 5%.
Knowing (or even just having a rough idea of) your CHURN rate is useful to set yourself a target of new clients to at least maintain the income you have from your existing clients
How to increase the chances of retaining clients
Ask for feedback. If they aren’t happy with what they’ve gotten from you, this is the perfect way to put that right. Alternatively, if they’re happy with your service, you can ask if there’s any way to improve what you do for them, or ask them to give you a review or testimonial.
Pre-call planning. By planning your meetings and conversations, involving your clients by sending an agenda and ensuring that all of the necessary questions are covered, you will be give off a professional and competent impression which will stand you in good stead against your competition.
Post-call documenting. By writing down key notes of their expectations and a point in time to call them to follow up after a conversation with a client, you will once again impress a professional standard by not having to ask for reminders. A bonus is being able to “remember” them and giving them a personal service, such as noting down things that are important to them, such as whether they are married, have children, what their names are, etc.
As a small business, you have a huge advantage over bigger businesses as you can devote more time and a more personal approach to these three strategies.
Getting new business from existing clients*
*provided they were happy with the experience!
Lather. Rinse. Repeat. If you weren’t running on a project that had a definitive end, you might find that provided you maintain the standard you’ve set, that you don’t need to do much. However. It’s still important to investigate.
Offer them something else. If you have developed a product ecosystem, where you might have a range of products/services at a range of costs, this is one of the times where that can really work for you. For instance, you might have a premium product that offers greater value but at a greater cost. Where a first-time buyer might not trust you enough to make such a significant investment, an existing client may well do.
Referrals/Recommendations. This can be the case whether or not your existing client still needs you. Most people in business know other people in business. Recommendations come with a level of trust already there, so you don’t need to go through the whole “friend or foe” scenario that you do when cold-calling someone
If you are tired of losing clients or just cannot get them to stick around longer than you hoped, you are sure to find value in this article, which will most definitely help you improve client retention in your business.
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