Monday, July 2, 2007

5 Best Ways to Keep Your Clients

You’ve worked very hard to get your clients. No matter what business you are in, keeping your clients is now your most important task. If you can keep these clients happy, they are more likely to stay with you and refer others to you. Don’t stop now, you have to keep working and make yourself indispensable.

I have come up with 5 ways to keep that client and to keep them happy.

Be Personal – You don’t have to be your client’s best friend to be personal. It can be as simple as knowing their birthdays and anniversaries (personal and business). When these special dates come up, send them a personalized card and a small gift. Don’t forget to have your business information printed on the back of the card.

Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep – This is so important to remember in all areas of your business. If you can’t do it, don’t say you can. If you say you can do something, and then can’t, you will look very unprofessional and unethical. Have a list of other professionals that you can refer your client to. Your client will appreciate being told, “I can’t do it, but here is someone who can”. Don’t worry about losing the client, they will come back to you for the things that you can so.

Go The Extra Mile – A few minutes of your time will be appreciated by your client. You don’t have to work for your client for free, but doing those little extra things they might not expect will go a long way. Try to think of that one little thing that can be added or improved, or that part of the project that the client just didn’t think of. Don’t come across like you are sacrificing your time for them and they will appreciate the extra time you spend on their behalf. Give a little and gain a lot!

Listen - If you listen to your client, you will know what they need and want. Don’t go into a project thinking you know best. Listen to the client first. Your client may not know what they need, but your job is to listen and interpret it into a plan. If a client says they need something done, but they are missing a step, listening will help you assist the client in seeing the overall picture.

Be Open And Honest - If you are involved in a project and something goes wrong, tell the client right away. It is better to let them find out sooner than later so that alternative plans can be made if necessary. Again, offer alternatives. If you have made a mistake, offer solutions on how things can be rectified. If you try and hide your failings, they will come out and bite you. Don’t risk losing a client over a mistake.

Try to do these simple things and you will see the difference it makes in your relationships with your clients.