It’s no secret that in business, retaining an existing account can be more challenging than winning a new account.
Just like with many relationships, sometimes that initial spark fades. Every interaction, email or correction can be the first hint of dissatisfaction. That is why it is so important to establish a periodic review of client happiness and continue to build relationships.
How do we continue to build positive relationships? Here are eight tips for retaining clients.
1. Show Them You Care
Call them up, send them a shout-out, or write them a thank you note. Every great relationship has one thing in common: great communication! Even if you care about a client’s success more than the next agency, a relationship can’t thrive without communication.
2. Be Honest And Genuine
In the service industry (and especially the marketing world), there will be good news and bad news. Don’t try to sugarcoat a less-than-successful campaign. Clients want a partner that will tell them the truth, and leverage wins or losses as learning experiences to create better campaigns in the future.
3. It’s Not All About You
It’s easy to forget that the person we are working with has responsibilities outside of sales and marketing. If we take time to understand their business, customers, potential customers and company culture, we can be more effective with their time.
4. Identify And Solve Challenges
Don’t just fill requests. We are more valuable as creative problem-solvers than order-takers. It’s easy to get caught-up in the short-term flow of work and be blinded by the frenzy. Is your client struggling with a specific area of business? Do they have a particular focus? Identify the challenges surrounding this opportunity and help your client go after it!
5. Be A Partner
Show a true commitment to your client by getting to know them, their business, their challenges and their goals! And don’t just get to know them — continue to get to know them. Business climates change, goals change and challenges definitely change. When we become part of our clients team and fight their fight, we get better together.
6. Understand Their Challenges
External problems are easy to see or gather information about. But what are our clients’ internal challenges? Are they pressed for time, worried they don’t have all the right skills to make their goals reality, struggling to get their boss's approval? If we know the struggles our clients are facing, we can approach them with compassion and deliver results beyond expectations!
7. Adapt To Change
Complacency is the enemy! Treat your clients like a long-term relationship. Don’t take them for granted, don’t get too comfortable and keep the excitement levels high! We have to remain agile and adapt to the world around us — and to our clients’ ever-changing needs.
8. Be Transparent And Accountable
Organize your projects and tasks so clients are always in the loop. Let them know what you're working on and when they can expect the finished product. Also, establish an open line of communication for feedback so your client feels heard.
Maintaining and building long-term relationships with clients is hard work! But it’s also one of the most rewarding parts of our jobs. When we truly become a client's partner, the work we do is more fulfilling for everyone involved.