For many sales reps, it can be a thrill to “hunt” a prospect to eventually win their business and cash in the sale, but don’t let the excitement of getting new customers overshadow caring for current ones. Retaining customers is the best way to earn continuous money and finding the best way to retain customers is crucial for steady income. Not only is it important for both cash flow and your business' reputation to maintain valuable, long-term business relations, but it’s also cheaper to retain a client than seek out new ones. As Mia Jacobs writes for Business2Community, “When you retain a customer, you’ve won a valuable patron who will be far likelier to want future sales or try new products.”
So, how can you work on keeping current clients happy and loyal? Jacobs has seven specific suggestions for the best ways to retain customers, including:
The Best Way to Retain Customers: Be Proactive
From the very start of the business relationship, think ahead about your future with the client. What will he or she likely need? Have past or other current clients of yours had the same needs? What challenges will they face based on those needs? “Know what your goals are for the client relationship and work toward those efforts during your initial engagements,” Jacobs explains. Doing this will immediately get you in the mindset of having a long-term relationship with the client. You can further support this effort by tracking, and updating, each of your clients' roadmaps.
The Best Way to Retain Customers: Focus on the Journey
To help with the construction of a client's specific roadmap, you must be thoughtful about your clients in everything you do. Whether it be a new product feature or an updated website, you should monitor how each and every change, trend or communication affects the client whose roadmap you're working on. “By constantly monitoring your customers and gathering as much feedback as possible, you will forge a deeper connection, identify warning signs to help avoid escalations and, overall, improve the customer journey,” she points out. The extra effort you spend to make these roadmaps will pay off in numerous ways. Not only will you improve your current client's customer journey, you will also establish yourself as not only a vendor, but also a true partner. Both of these will lead to increased trust. Trust leads to comfort, and not many people will easily leave what makes them comfortable, especially in the business world.
These are just two of her seven total suggestions, but they all share a common goal: Providing value to the client in any and every way possible. This value is what will keep your clients coming back to you for future sales, as well as maintaining their current contracts. And, the key is to keep this value ongoing, not just ramping it up when it’s renewal time. By focusing on the client and engaging on a deeper level, you’ll set the stage for many more years together.