Did you know it costs 80% LESS to keep a client as opposed to landing a new one? No wonder so many local marketing start-ups struggle to get their business off the ground and flying. If you’re losing any clients then those leaks are costing you BIG TIME!
Of course we love landing new clients and a ton of focus out there is on getting new clients, but there’s little emphasis on retaining them. I can tell you first hand until we developed a working system to ensure clients stuck with us it was almost impossible to grow our Local Marketing agency at the rate we wanted.
Growing your local marketing business at a healthy rate means consistent new sales and MOST importantly retaining current clients! But there’s an art and science to getting your clients to continue with your service – and this is why you need to ramp up your client retention techniques as one of your TOP priorities.
As a local marketer or small business owner, there are many things that you can do to improve client retention and have them stick with you month after month; year after year.
Here are 5 Ways to dramatically improve your client Retention:
1. Under Promise – Over Deliver. When you first land a new client and establish the services you are going to provide to them, it’s absolutely vital that you don’t promise too much because I can tell you from first-hand experience that this sets you up to fail!
You only get one chance at first impression and those early days when bringing on new clients can leave a lasting imprint on the relationship. So it is absolutely critical that you spell out to the letter exactly what your new clients should expect and then go about surprising them.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that clients will forget about the discussions you had when you were bringing them on board in the first place because many of them never forget, and if you don’t deliver on all the promises that you made, things can often turn sour.
2. Keep Clients in the Loop (Great Reporting = Great Retention).
One of the top priorities in our local marketing agency (Local Oxygen) has been to develop a sensational reporting system that details all the work that we do and presenting it in a beautiful and very impressive format. Once your clients are set up and everything is rolling along like clockwork as it should if your systems are set up correctly, then the challenge of keeping clients paying you on a monthly basis comes down to a value judgement on their part.
Many clients will assess the ROI (return on investment) of the money they’re spending with you each month based on the quality and extent of reporting that you deliver to them. This is the key reason that we spent so much time and money developing the automated local oxygen reporting system so that users can count on all their hard work being automatically integrated into a beautiful and impressive reports that make it hard for clients to ignore the high-value.
3. Keep control of your Properties.
This is one area that many local marketers don’t talk about, but it’s also one of the most important if you want make sure that you keep your clients reliant on you and your services. What do I mean by keeping control of properties? For example a classic case where local marketing clients feel they can stop paying you and the jobs done is where you have achieved good rankings for them either with organic SEO or Google places.
Often when clients see themselves with these high rankings they feel that they no longer need you and will continue to enjoy the traffic stream without your continued help. The solution to this problem is where you develop the online properties that help drive backlinks and rankings to their websites and you own those third-party properties.
When a client threatens to leave you can simply let them know that you will then redirect the ranking power and traffic of those properties to the competition. Of course you have to be careful with this in how you set this up to make sure that you’re doing the right thing, but the more you have control over where the traffic and rankings come from, the more clients rely on your services.
If I could sum up in one word the primary cause of many clients becoming dissatisfied and leaving: that word would be communication, or lack thereof. If you don’t communicate often enough with clients then there is every chance that they will feel unloved and that you don’t care about their well-being and situation.
This is where our recency and frequency system comes into play. We use a system of contact and follow-up procedure that makes sure our project managers communicate with clients on a regular basis, and not only communicate regularly but it’s also the value of the communication such as the quality of information and the value within that communication itself that you’re conveying to a client.
This is a perfect opportunity and example of where you can keep clients up to date with what’s going on as far as marketing and Internet related services are concerned, and also allows you to continually establish your Value and authority which can make you indispensable.
5. Assert Your Value and Authority.
One of our strategies at local oxygen is to do regular Webinars where we teach a variety of subjects that not only educates at our clients but also continually reinforces our position as market leaders and the very company that they need to stick with and continue to do business with. What you’ll find if you make an effort to regularly update your clients with news and educational pieces that provide value to them, is that they’ll end up being a staunch supporter of yours and when those other local marketing agencies come knocking on the door, your clients will fiercely defend their business relationship with you!
Put yourself in your clients shoes and just imagine what it’s like for them running their small business with budget constraints and pressures on a monthly basis, and that will help you understand the thinking processes that they go through and why you need to constantly be a highlight of value and a great return on investment to them.
You can make this job infinitely easier and get a lot of what I’m talking about here taking care of on autopilot by using systems and tools that do a lot of work for you.
This is a big part of why we built local oxygen in the first place so that these vital processes and operations of our business that would help us keep clients long term could be taken care of automatically and while we’re out doing other things, like landing new deals.
Take a moment now to start your free trial of local oxygen by clicking this link below and you will see exactly what I’m talking about and just how much easier it will be few to keep clients paying you every month and sticking with you for the long-term.