As a small business owner, you’ve probably already realized how important attracting new clients is to maintaining a successful business. However, the value of strengthening your relationship with your existing clients is often overlooked. Losing a client, no matter how big or small, can impact your cash flow, work load, and even your reputation in the industry. Here are some simple tips on how to strengthen your existing client partnerships while encouraging new ones:
Connecting with your clients shouldn’t be limited to making a sale. Even after your initial sale, make sure to invest time in maintaining your client relationship. The sale is just the beginning; clients like to know there is someone on the receiving end. If you’re not leading a client’s project, don’t be afraid to send an email or make a phone call to check-in.
This is a lot more difficult than it sounds! As entrepreneurs and business owners, there are always emails awaiting a response or a phone call that needs to be made. But, going the extra mile to stay connected to your clients is well worth the effort. As simple as it sounds, returning voicemails and social media comments, let clients know they are valued and important.
It’s important to communicate with your clients before they even have to ask for an update. No one likes wondering where their project stands or if an existing problem has been solved. Clients appreciate being kept up-to-date!
Mistakes happen, and that’s okay. The way they get handled is what matters the most. Instead of leaving your clients in the dark, admit your mistake and propose your plan to fix it. Clients are more likely to be understanding if a plan has been put in place to clean up the error.
Do Your Homework
When working with clients that come from different industries, it’s a necessity to get acquainted with the appropriate language and industry trends. This helps foster a better understanding of your clients’ needs—and they’ll be sure to notice.
It’s easy to get caught up on all the work we do for our clients. But, it’s them who choose to work with us time and time again. It’s nice to say thanks once in a while. In addition to sending cards during Christmastime or New Year’s, try sending a quick card or note of appreciation. It’s these small things that keep our clients coming back to our businesses.
What ideas do you have for maintaining client relationships?