How to Retain Clients Year after Year

    Clients: you gotta have ‘em. They’re the main source of revenue for your business, as your key deals with them open doors to new pathways, which in turn spark opportunities for growth to new heights, delivering on your promise to expand past old corridors. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that you keep every client you can onboard and signed with your company. 

    In this short post, we’ll keep you up to date on the best ways to keep clients coming back. Sure, it may seem challenging, but with a little hard work and thoughtfulness you’ll find that you’re retaining clients for years to come. Let’s take a look at the top ways to do so.

    Show your personal side

    Business is business – but it’s also more than that. People want to know that their business partners are real, flesh and blood humans who they can trust. One way to show this is by showing your personal side. There are a few ways you can do that:

    • Try taking clients out to dinner at fine dining establishments – on you, of course. This will show you’re passionate not only about maintaining them as a business partner, but also as an interpersonal connection that you value.
    • Get them corporate gifts to show your gratitude at key events, like the anniversary of your partnership, when their business has grown in a significant and remarkable way. This shows that you’re invested in their success, and will keep them coming back for more.
    • Offer them a deal once they’ve been signed for a while. Have a loyal 5-year plus client? Offer them a reduced rate on services so that they stick around. They will respect you for valuing their business so mightily.

    Retaining a personal relationship with your clients is key, but there’s more you can do to ensure long-term retention. 

    Create a loyalty program

    For clients who keep coming back and signing year after year, there should be some serious perks. We already mentioned giving them a reduced rate, which is an awesome way to start. You can even have subscription packages that lower rates every year (by a small amount) for clients who have stuck around for dozens of quarters. 

    But there’s even more you can do! Be sure to advertise to new clients that you offer all sorts of loyalty royalties and rewards if they plan on sticking around. For instance, clients that promise to stay signed with your business for a minimum of a year should receive a discount on their services as compared with those who tentatively test you out for a quarter. 

    Those who do stick around should also be able to have access to other perks, like special meetings with management, gift baskets on holidays and other special occasions, and bonus products from your company – say, free apparel if you sell it, or a free consultation. 

    Be committed about beating out competition

    Your competitors are your biggest rivals in the customer retention game. Why? Because if they’re not sticking with you, then your clients are likely to move to one of your competitors for the same service. In order to keep business partners signed with your organization, you’ll want to keep tabs on competitors and ensure that you’re beating them out.

    There are two primary ways that you can be better than your competitors:

    1. You can simply build a stronger business. Sure, maybe your services cost a little extra, but they’re so much better than the other guys that it’s pretty much always worth it to sign with you.
    2. You can cut down on rates. By offering your services at a cheaper price than competitors, many more clients will be drawn to you – and your existing clients will be enticed to stay.

    If you can afford it, a combination of both of the above strategies is ideal. However, for many small businesses this may not be an option, so it’s understandable if you have to prioritize one over the other. 

    Client retention can be a tricky game, and in the cut throat business world of today, it’s common for clients to shop around for the best services even after working with your company for ages. With a little bit of client retention strategy, however, you can change that.