One of the best marketing growth strategies out there is to take care of your existing customers. Simple right? Well, it depends on how much you invest in those relationships that will determine that.
It’s so much easier to grow and maintain relationships with people you already know, work with, and trust. It is also cheaper to retain your existing clients than to acquire new ones that may be less compatible. Did you know that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase revenue by 25%-95%?[i] Taking care of what you already have pays dividends.
By serving your current clients’ needs and building relationships with depth, they will take care of you in return in more ways than you can imagine. Their referrals and social proof can technically make them an informal member of your sales team. Below are five different ways you can demonstrate your appreciation to them, and that, by unintentional default, can end up helping to grow your business too. Of course, it’s always good business to do the right thing.
1. Produce tangible results consistently = long-term loyalty and referrals.
Nothing builds trust like consistency and producing results. Relationships are critical, but so is ROI on the investment in you. If your work directly impacts their customer acquisition, is making life easier, or positively impacts the bottom line, there is no reason for your working relationship ever to end. If you produce regularly and they know they can count on you, your clients will tell their friends and bring you into other projects as the need comes up. On the other hand, if you do not, there’s no reason to justify keeping you around. Serve and deliver.
2. Regularly celebrate occasions and milestones of working together.
One of my favourite things to do is take my clients out for a nice lunch or supper whenever we sign a new deal to work together. It is a great way to celebrate continuing the working relationship and shows them that you care. Enjoy and invest in the people you work with; it’s fun and helps solidify partnerships.
3. Sincerely get to know them personally so they can confide in you.
Trust and communication go hand-in-hand. Some have different philosophies on this, but I prefer to get close to my customers so they feel comfortable sharing everything with me in confidence. It is how you can find out how someone is really doing after all. By helping them to feel comfortable with you no matter what is going on in their lives, you can support them no matter the season in life. Do it because you care. Whether it is asking how a spouse or child is doing, attending their life events such as baby showers etc., watch how they show up for you when life comes your way. I had clients at my wedding and my dad’s funeral. This kind of support builds rock-solid relationships and long-term loyalty.
4. Do routine status checks. Are they still happy with you?
It is always good to be on the offence. I have often tried to get a client to fire me and voice anything that isn’t working for them. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened. But I routinely ask directly how things are going and if any areas could be tuned up. Deal with issues as they come up and put out fires and fix any mistakes fast. Blunt conversations eliminate fake BS from the conversation and ensure that you are still aligned. My experience is that people respect this kind of directness, and it helps reinforce your working relationship.
5. Be responsive and reply timely.
The best clients are not high maintenance, and you can enjoy fun working relationships and be pen pals throughout the day. Responding quickly shows you care and are available to their needs, and care about their relationship. Of course, everything is within reason, but why not have enriched relationships with the people paying your bills and that you appreciate?
When was the last time you reached out and loved your customers?
I challenge you to take action this week to engage with your existing customers. Here are a few ideas:
- Share some educational content that will help them solve some of their challenges.
- Send a text or email checking in and have a conversation.
- Set up a meeting to take a client out for lunch.
- Set up a check-in call to catch up and see how they are doing (both personally and professionally) if you cannot do the above.
- Send a small gift if you know of a momentous upcoming occasion coming up (life event, work anniversary/accomplishment, holiday etc.)
To learn more or arrange a consultation, contact us today!