For a few months after college, I temped at a marketing agency run by a team of really dynamic twenty-somethings. They thrived on the cutting edge, and constantly chased after the latest and greatest of everything. Even clients.
In between writing catalog copy and a little ad work, I also handled the phones when the receptionist didn’t show. I got really good at identifying new clients – whose calls were answered immediately and enthusiastically – and older clients who seemed to be on agency auto-pilot, and a perpetual “We’ll call you back later” list. As inexperienced as I was, I soon saw how flawed their system seemed to be.
Losing interest in a client once they’ve been around a while isn’t good business at all, but nevertheless business after business does it.
Here are a few ways to retain your clients even while you’re growing your business with new ones.
- It’s not about perfect. But it is about making a perfect effort, day in and day out. Your clients want to see your enthusiasm stay at an all-time high. That means taking their calls – every call – and maintaining your interest in their growth.
- Pay attention to their cues. If they rarely answer emails, preferring a weekly call to review progress and make plans, then stop sending emails. Save time and money, and present them what they need in the format to which they respond.
- Keep interviewing them. Needs change, and so do growing companies and brands. Continue to ask the right questions to make sure you’re still on the right track. Content campaigns can become stale almost overnight if you’re not paying attention.
- Stay ahead of the curve. Prepare everyone involved for inevitable client chaos, ensuring that someone is watching and informed at all times. Allow room in the client’s course for strategic and creative thinking, and immediate changes in direction to outrun the trends.
- Own your mistakes. And own them quickly. Apologize sincerely and change course. Everything can’t be a sure win, no matter the industry, and sometimes ideas flop. It’s okay. Just be accountable.
Above all, the best way to keep a valued client is to continue to go above and beyond expectations and promises. Remember, you succeed by helping your clients succeed.
At The Found Gen, we specialize in keeping our clients happy. Try us out.