Even though expanding your client base is important, retaining existing clients is the backbone of your business. According to some recent stats, to acquire a new customer can cost 7 times more than to keep an existing one.
With the rapid rise of the brands, your customers have become more demanding and they don’t want to buy from a brand they don’t trust. Apart from familiarizing themselves with your products, they want to hear the story about your brand and connect with it on an emotional level.
For you, this is a great opportunity to build a lasting relationship with your clients and take your brand awareness to a whole new level.
Build your relationship on trust.
Transparency is the backbone of your business. Recent research concluded that impressive 86% of customers believe it’s critical for companies to be transparent. They described transparent brands as open, clear, and honest and even emphasized they would give them a second chance after a poor experience.
How to implement transparency and business-client interactions?
● You’re the expert, so act like one.
Before signing a client, you need to schedule a meeting and talk to them to see what their goals are. Keep in mind that, when reaching out to you, most of your clients are not sure what exactly they expect from you. They usually set their objectives around some general ideas, not asking themselves how they would work for their businesses.
Given these facts, it is not surprising that inadequate expectation management is one of the main reasons why your client-agency relationship may fail. You need to be honest with them. Tell them how realistic their ideas are and never promise something you cannot fulfill. As an expert, offer some more effective suggestions to help them set rational goals.
● Set a strict billing policy.
One of the major causes of poor agency-client relationships is, unfortunately, failed payments. Calling your clients or sending unpleasant follow-up emails about late payments may indicate that you don’t trust your clients enough and hurt your relationship. This is why you need to set clear billing rules from the very beginning.
Be open about the prices of your services so your potential clients can know what to expect. Additionally, create a contract that ensures that everyone’s on the same page. Emphasize when you want to get paid, what types of payments you accept, how you will handle canceled projects, and so forth.
● Communicate regularly.
A healthy agency-client relationship goes beyond the traditional quarterly report. Be it in-person meetings, phone calls, or video conferencing, you need to communicate with your clients regularly. For example, when building a strategy for the next month, make a comprehensive to-do list and have it approved by a client before you start working on it. You should also keep them posted about the progress of their project. Track your most important KPIs for each client and send them weekly and monthly reports to show how your services are boosting their bottom line.
Show you appreciate their loyalty.
The one-size-fits-all customer interactions don’t resonate with your target audience anymore. Instead, you need to focus on bringing value to each customer separately.
For example, when a visitor signs up for your newsletter or buys your product, send them a welcome email. This is one of the greatest ways to spark a new relationship and engage your customers.
Incentivize paying clients to boost their loyalty and turn them into your brand advocates. Sometimes, even a small token of appreciation, such as sending Christmas gift cards or wishing them a happy birthday, would melt their hearts. You could also offer large, cumulative discounts for your loyal clients, set loyalty programs, or even throw a party for your major clients. The ideas are multiple and you just need to pick the one that works for you.
Collect client feedback.
We’ve already mentioned the importance of sending client feedback regularly. But, that’s just half the job done. The other half is to ask them for feedback. After working together on a major project or achieving a significant milestone, you need to see how satisfied your clients are with your services. You could create your own customer satisfaction surveys, send email surveys, or leverage social media polls.
The data you collect is a powerful source of client information and you shouldn’t let it sit somewhere in your folders forgotten. Instead, analyze it and use it to personalize their experiences.
Provide exceptional support.
In the hyperconnected world we live in, sending a few customer reports is not enough. With the rise of sophisticated video conferencing tools, messaging apps, and social networks, your clients expect you to be available 24/7.
Your goal is to equip your customer service reps with the right tools so they can provide your clients with the timely and highly informative feedback. Apart from your call centers and emails, you should also use social media monitoring tools that let you track your brand mentions and participate in people’s online discussions in real-time.
Finally, integrating an AI-powered chatbot with your website and social media profiles. They are constantly refining their language and learning new communication patterns, making the interaction with a client relevant, engaging, and fun.
Wrapping it up
Building and nurturing solid relationships with your clients is an investment in the long run. It will boost their satisfaction, turn them into your brand advocates, and inspire them to share positive word-of-mouth about you. Just like the famous verse says, “Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold.”