In business, a general rule of thumb is that it is much more costly to search for and acquire New Clients than to retain and grow existing ones. Still, many Companies opt to spend precious time and money on Client Prospecting for New Business Opportunities, hoping that the addition of multiple new accounts will lead to increased revenue. Why is this? To me, the math just doesn’t add up. Building client loyalty and retaining the business you’ve worked so hard to get is the best path to profitability.
“Client Churn”—turnover, attrition, whatever you want to call clients walking away from your business—can erode profit margins, undermine the morale of your company, and will ultimately enable your competitors to stake out and win over some of your customers.
Here are three ways you can effectively reduce client churn:
Stay Close to Your Clients
How often do you communicate with your clients? Not just the biggest and most profitable clients, but the smaller ones too. Many Business Owners leave business “on the table” simply because they don’t pay enough attention to their smaller accounts, leaving them feeling underappreciated and motivated to move their business elsewhere. By staying close to all your clients, you will not only retain most of them, but will also grow their account. Client touch points can include proactive phone calls, emails, surveys, and newsletters, and the frequency and method will be contingent on the relationship and sales potential of the account. At the very least, clients should be “touched” monthly.
Sure, you can do good work—and perhaps even great work—for your clients, but when was the last time you delivered work that dazzled, delighted, and most assuredly went over and beyond your client’s expectations? Consider this: in today’s globalized economy, you have local as well as global competitors; all competing for a limited pool of clients. It is too easy for any of the competition to “look better” by performing better. Simply meeting client expectations leaves you vulnerable; exceeding client expectations sets you apart and makes for greater client loyalty. You can really “WOW” a client by doing any of the following:
How’s Your Customer Service?
What happens when things go wrong? Perhaps you missed a deadline, or maybe you left out key details. Oops! A dissatisfied client can spread the word about their negative experience with your company in just a few keystrokes. In these instances, bad press is devastating, and it is incredibly tough to combat negative reviews and rebuild your reputation. A business must have exceptional customer service so that if, or when, an issue arises it can be handled efficiently by the most informed people. To be known for having exceptional Customer Service, a Business Owner must:
Client churn is a treacherous situation for companies of all sizes. To minimize client churn, and to make the most of existing accounts, be sure to follow these three simple ways and you will be rewarded by happy, loyal, and paying clients and customers.
For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 935-5641.