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Safeguarding client loyalty and retention

Blog
3rd June 2019

 

Everybody likes to be valued and appreciated and the success a company celebrates is also directly linked to its clients. In a B2B business model, clients are after all the reason we are in business. And when they feel valued, they not only become loyal but also use their experience to influence their networks and in doing so, bring in new potential clients which directly boosts the growth of your business.

So how exactly can you make your clients feel valued?

Trust

Trust is essential in every interaction you have with your clients. Make sure to always keep your end of the deal. This goes a long way in enhancing your client’s trust and also securing their loyalty. Set pragmatic goals and targets to avoid regularly being behind schedule. Apart from facing the risk of breaching the terms and conditions of the contract, you also increase your client’s doubts on your ability to timely deliver.

Honesty

Being transparent is key. Inform your clients about any risks or issues you think may arise at the onset of the project to avoid any ugly surprises in the future.  And to make sure you are on the right track, check in with them regularly along the project. Taking your client’s view into account, be polite, positive and respectful when giving back your feedback even if your point of view does not match.

Attention

Getting the right balance between personal attention and coming off as pushy is sometimes tricky. Nonetheless, it’s all about letting you clients know you are there by being visible as well as available. Treating them as VIP earns you more points and more contracts in the long run! While you may want to shower your clients with attention, take care not to suffocate them.

If your business is online based, bombarding them with calls and e-mails will definitely be overwhelming and could even lead you to lose their business. Use small courtesies like addressing them with their names. This small gesture will make them feel valued and appreciated and may be exactly what brings them back to extend the contract with you.

Gratitude

Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart. Thank your clients every now and then for doing business with you. But once again, be cautious not to overdo it because it may appear falsified. Authenticity is crucial for a business’s success because it enhances trust and loyalty. So be genuine when thanking your clients as they can easily tell if it is not genuine for example by holding a client appreciation day to thank your clients for choosing to do business with you. They are the reason you are in business so make them feel appreciated.

Becoming your clients’ client for example is also a way to show your gratitude and to further strengthen your relationship with them. For example, if your client is a producer of sportswear, supporting their business by ordering sports merchandise for your corporate football or running team, assures your client that you support their business and have their best interest at heart.

Feedback

A good way to show your clients you truly care is by proactively asking for feedback. This creates a win-win situation for both stakeholders. It is good for you because the feedback highlights areas you have excelled in and others where you can improve on and good for your clients because they get the chance to express their likes and dislikes. There are numerous ways to get feedback, for example through social media channels, surveys, online questionnaires, or e-mail. The feedback will help you to implement appropriate changes which not only leads to sales increase but also strengthens your relationship with your client. You could also use the opportunity to inform them about new products or services they could be interested in. It is also important to act on the feedback you receive as your clients may feel taken for granted and wasting their time in taking part.

Communication

Good communication always has a positive impact on every business operation, from relationship building and effective brand messaging to preventing conflict escalation. Communication is key in all stages of interaction with your client. Great communication and transparency create a stronger and more profitable client relationship. Clients look to work with a true and honest organisation, it is thus imperative that this becomes engraved in your work ethic. It is crucial to be transparent and keep your clients in the loop about the way you work.

The more you share information, provide regular updates and explain processes to clients, the more patient and understanding they become. Communication also plays a vital role in error management. Be swift in communicating and correcting a mistake and implementing steps to limit its reoccurrence will certainly please your client. It is good practice to keep your clients up-to-date about any changes which may positively benefit them or negatively affect them as this allows for timely and appropriate process adjustments.

Ultimately, developing a good relationship with your clients is a fundamental factor that directly affects the sustainability of any business. Sharing your success stories or even challenges that you overcame shows your clients that you are passionate about what you do. Investing real effort in making your clients feel valued and appreciated creates a win-win situation for all stakeholders.



Article by: Evelyn Kamau

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