Having gone to the trouble of convincing a client that you’re worth investing in, you’re left with the equally-important task of retaining them. Without loyal clients, the prosperity of your B2B business will suffer. They provide the repeat business that will account for most, if not all, of your revenue.
Retaining an existing client is far easier than winning over a new one. As such, investing a little time and energy in maintaining a healthy relationship with them will reap dividends over the long term. Let’s have a look at a few of the best practices.
Keep the long-term in mind
While it might be tempting to just take a valued client out for a string of expensive lunches, this approach can come off as a little bit shallow and desperate. They are looking for dependable, high-quality work, and if they don’t get it, no amount of fine dining is going to compensate. With that said, if you are planning a schmoozing trip, then private jet hire won’t go unnoticed.
Go above and beyond
Sometimes, you may find that clients are looking for something which you don’t specialise in. Take this as an opportunity to branch out (provided that you’re sure you’ll be able to deliver). This will not only impress the client; it’ll give you the chance to expand the core of your business into unfamiliar territory.
No-one wants to hang around all day waiting for a reply to an email. If you make your clients wait, then you’ll be damaging the relationship. Now, this doesn’t mean you should sit and compulsively refresh your inbox every five minutes. But it does mean you should set up notifications for certain clients. Even if you don’t have anything worthwhile to say, simply acknowledging receipt of an email can work wonders.
Be there when things get hectic
Life will occasionally throw up an unforeseen challenge. Perhaps a client will be let down. You need firstly to make sure that you’re not the one responsible, but you also need to be ready to jump in and solve problems quickly. If they tell you that they desperately need some work turned around before the end of the week, then you need to respond positively and deliver. They may then come to you when things go south in the future.
Ask for feedback
Nobody’s perfect. The chances are that there’ll be elements of your service that clients aren’t entirely happy with. If you ask them if there’s anything you can do to make them happier, then they might well tell you about it. This, in turn, will allow you to deliver a better service to all of your other clients, and stand a better chance of retaining them.