Image: Juli Moreira
You don’t have any clients (or customers).
You also don’t have any subscribers, contacts or followers.
And neither do I.
We don’t have them. That’s to say, they’re not our possession. Instead, we borrow them.
We need to earn and then re-earn whatever connection / relationship they have with us.
Client retention planning
That’s why a client retention plan is critically important. Yes, delivering the best service possible is essential, but that’s what our clients expect. We retain our clients by exceeding expectations in key areas.
- We need to engage out clients regularly. Many providers only engage with their clients when they’re working together on something or when they invoice a client. But very, very few will maintain regular contact with their clients at other times, such as sharing useful resources with them; articles, event invitations, newsletters, ideas, etc.
- We can also connect them with useful people. Very, very few providers will proactively introduce their clients to valuable contacts.
- And we can look for opportunities to help our clients develop their businesses. Very, very few providers will proactively recommend their clients to potentially suitable prospects.
Those are just a few examples from what I do with my clients. Obviously, you’ll need to adapt, adjust and develop your own ways to exceed expectations, depending on the services or products you provide. The key is to exceed in an appropriate, valuable way.
I recommend you consider developing a simple, client retention plan. I’ve used them for years and they’re invaluable. Start simple. Set reminders for each client; to collect and share useful, helpful and insightful resources and connections with them. This is a powerful and proven way to go far BEYOND what’s expected, so you get the opportunity to re-earn the privilege of serving your clients.
I’ve spoken to countless hard working business owners, who have lost clients purely because of unintentional complacency. They worked hard to do everything the client expected. They genuinely believed that would be enough. They then discovered it wasn’t.
In short, without a deliberate plan to retain our clients, even the best businesses and brands can become a little complacent. And as they say, a casual approach causes casualties.