What is the difference between short-term clients and clients for life? What is the key to building retention? Why is building relationships so imperative in today’s business environments? With more and more businesses popping up, it's essential to keep your loyal customers close. Forming solid relationships with clients turns them into devoted followers of your brand.
Your new clients will appreciate your attentiveness if you handwrite a note or send them a card to commemorate special moments in their lives. This demonstrates that they matter to you on a personal level, not just as potential income sources. At ActionCOACH the largest and most successful Business Coaching Franchise in the world, we call this activity adding to your Emotional Bank Account. ActionCOACH teaches all its coaches and their clients that before you can make a withdrawal in this ‘bank account,’ you must make deposits.
Client deposits made through "critical non-essentials" can actually help boost your account balance. What are critical non-essentials? They might be things like arranging a gourmet meal for a client and their spouse, or giving them tickets to see their favorite team play. While some of these may seem costly at first, ask yourself how much the client is worth to the viability of your business. You may find that even an expensive gift comes nowhere near equally the value of keeping a lifetime customer.
Often business owners don’t have a huge budget for critical non-essentials, so they must get creative. Small budgets don’t mean cheap or thought less. On the contrary, small gestures can be just as meaningful. Your organization needs to capture relevant and important information from your clients and have a system to manage this activity as you do with any other critical aspect of your business. Don’t sacrifice this part of your business strategy as it can be very lucrative in the long run.
To get to know your clients better, jot down the following information next time they're in:
- The names and birthdays of their kids
- What kind of pet they have and its name
- Their anniversary and birthday celebrations
- Hobbies and leisure activities (i.e., fishing, ballroom dancing)
- Favorite food, wine or alcoholic beverage
- Favorite travel spots or bucket list items
When you have this information, you can make decisions about when and what to deposit in your client’s emotional bank account. Make the deposits meaningful and timely. Personalise any gesture and take time to make even the smallest gesture memorable.
When you show your clients how much you value them, they move from being suspects to raving fans. From there, they act as advocates for your brand or company. They become cheerleaders who help generate more referrals and business opportunities.
It's important to maintain positive relationships with your team as well. A great way to do this is by showing them some unexpected recognition, like t-shirts or hats. Keep in mind that your team plays a huge role in both acquiring and retaining clients, so the more delighted they are with their experience, the more likely they'll be to communicate that excitement to your clients and prospects.
Client satisfaction is vital to the long-term success of any business, but team satisfaction ensures that you have the manpower and enthusiasm necessary to serve those clients effectively. Click here to book a discovery session.