Opinion: Five tips for better client retention

Customer satisfaction and client retention are top priorities. Every organization should be keenly focused on client retention, as repeat business is a huge factor in your company’s bottom line. The following is a list of tips on how to keep your clients coming back, year after year.

1. Listen to (and apply) feedback 

Don’t shy away from customer criticism. Ask for feedback and then genuinely think about how you can use it to make a positive change in your business. It’s much better to ask for feedback regularly than to have a negative comment or review seemingly come out of nowhere. Use customer feedback to think deeply about how you can improve your practices, products or services.

 Some ideas on how to collect this data are through surveys sent by email, posted on social media platforms, or on customer receipts. Or, you can always ask in person. Furthermore, if you have the time and resources, focus groups are a great way to get lots of valuable feedback all at once.

2. Loyalty and referral programs

Do you have some kind of loyalty or referral programs in place? If not, consider them. Customers always appreciate a thank you in the form of savings for their ongoing patronage. Even a shout out on social media can prove to be extremely meaningful to clients.   

3. Train staff to put customers first

Your employees are the face of your business. Make sure they are trained to be service-oriented and to put the needs of the client first. Customers should always be greeted with a smile and treated with respect. This may seem like common sense, but sometimes staff allow their emotions to get the best of them in the event of a problem. Training is the key to avoiding this. Issues sometimes can’t be controlled, but the way employees react can – with proper training. 

Likewise, it’s important for management to treat employees with the same respect they expect them to bestow upon clients. Staff will often treat customers in the same manner that they are being treated. A happier staff equals happier customers. For you, this means repeat business, and unlocking the door to growing your company.

4. Be present on social media

Utilizing social media is a fantastic way to keep in touch with customers, get their feedback and stay at the forefront of their minds. Consistent posting is key to social media success. Choosing the right social media for your business is important, too. For example, B2B companies should be present on LinkedIn, while more creative companies or those with appealing photography should be active on Instagram. 

5. Rise to the occasion

Going above and beyond the customer’s expectations is a sure-fire way to keep them coming back. Seek to impress the customer and show them they aren’t just a number to you. Send a personal note, a small gift basket during the holiday season or a thoughtful birthday card. These simple gestures can make a huge difference in client retention. A member of your staff can be dedicated to tracking important dates and milestones in your client relationship. This can help ensure nothing falls into the cracks when you get busy.

Murtaza Jaffer is the co-owner of EBC Printing of Trexlertown. He can be reached at murtaza@ebclv.com

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