How Do I Retain My Existing Customers?
I hadn’t seen Rahul so tensed before.
“My number 1 customer didn’t renew the contract” he said. “This means I am losing 25% of my revenue this year. I will need to add 3 more customers to make up for the loss”
It’s a bad feeling when you lose a customer who’s been working with you for so long. Apparently there is no reason why they should stop working with you. You and your team have reached a level of ease because you know their requirements like an insider and haven’t done anything wrong in your deliverable. It’s unfair…!
Have you faced this challenge? You will know what I am saying.
Getting business from existing clients is 6 times easier than going after new customers. If you have clients who give you repeat business or you have on-going assignments with your customers, then you must have specific strategies to retain them.
Addition of new clients will add to your revenue only when leaking bucket is plugged.
Retention depends on two things….. ‘Results’ and ‘Relations’. Here is how you will remember it. Results x Relation = Retention Forever : R2 = R∞
Results are the deliverables you have committed and you have to master your delivery process to make sure your clients are satisfied. But that’s not enough.
Do you know what’s the number 1 reason for loosing clients?
It is Perceived Indifference. Clients feel you aren’t bothered about them. If you are not in touch with your customer, outside of work communication, it is time to correct it.
Meet Over Coffee
Connect with them outside of your work meetings and get to know them personally. Invite or visit just for a cup of coffee and do not discuss business in such informal interactions. Ask about their family, likes and dislikes. Get in touch at least once in 90 days informally. You should know their dog’s name. You get what I mean
Leverage Social Media
Everyone is on social media. Connect with them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social platforms.
Follow them on social media. Like and comment on their posts and share their posts. I don’t have to tell you that you should be mindful of what you are sharing. Wish them on their birthdays and anniversaries, send them cakes and flowers. Talk to them about what’s going on in their life.
Master Your Delivery
Deliver results. There is no short-cut there.
Never take anyone for granted when it comes to delivery commitments. Make sure you do not default on any of the commitments, written or verbal. In case of any challenge, at least proactively inform them in advance if you feel you may have challenge in delivering as committed and request them to consider. Needless to say – this should be a rare case. You have to master your delivery processes to deliver Every Time On Time In Full quantity (ET-OT-IF) and To the Specs. ‘Delivery’ includes all the processes and steps from receipt of order, designing, production, installation, commissioning to after sales support.
For most engineering and projects businesses we get anxious towards the end of the project and we wish we could finish punch point list and get out of site (not sight) without further delay. This anxiety or frustration reflects in your interaction with clients towards the end. Our ‘Start’ is great and positive but the ‘End’ is usually stressful and hence we must take extra care of keeping and building relations with clients at this stage. Treat it as an opportunity to get in for ever.
You will retain your clients for ever when you work on both; Results AND Retention. Either of it is compromised and you will have a leaking bucket.
The tips we share are a small part of what we do at our coaching sessions.
If you’d like to take the whole framework and install in your business, then do drop an email at [email protected] with subject line as “Scale Session” and we’ll reach out to you with all the details quickly.