You have likely noticed that the days of undying, unquestioning customer loyalty are long gone. In today’s cutthroat economy, when many clients are looking for ways to save a buck or two, client retention and maintaining good client relations is more important than ever.
Following are four simple techniques you can put into place to keep your customers happily buying your products and services.

Institute a Customer Loyalty Program

A customer loyalty program rewards clients for returning to buy your products and services again and again. Think punch cards for coffee shops that give a free cup of coffee after 10 or 12 purchases. How can you implement this in your service business? Well, how about offering an hour of free consulting or services for every 10 hours purchased? Or if you don’t want to give your time, think about offering another gift, like sweets (think gourmet brownies or cookies) or other goodies. And before you start thinking about the cost of such gifts, remember that you’re building a relationship that is likely to be worth thousands of dollars in the years to come. Isn’t that worth a $30 gift basket here and there?

Maintain an Open Line of Communication

A big reason why clients may choose to leave is not because of price or even results from services rendered but rather because they feel neglected by their service provider. The communication isn’t there, so clients feel unimportant, causing them to look elsewhere for the attention they crave…and deserve.

Get to Know Them…and Their Needs

When you work within a niche market, you should know what’s going on in your clients’ industry. Stay up-to-date on industry news, attend their events if possible, and talk to people within the field. Not only will you be able to better serve your clients the more you know about their industry, but you will also become seen as their trusted resource (instead of just a provider of services) because you now have input that can help them in their business. Plus, they will see that you are not only interested in their business but are truly vested in helping them succeed.

Give Them Regular and Consistent Value

Providing value to your clients, such as in the form of a regular, content-rich newsletter (or eZine, which is just a fancy term for an email newsletter), can also endear you to your clients and cause them to want to stick around. The best way to do this is to make sure the content in these newsletters is not just about trying to sell them things but highlights interesting, useful information (that subconsciously positions you as an expert in their minds) and leads them naturally to the next step (which involves working with you).

Offer Them Exclusive Access to Special Offers

Running client-only specials is a great way to make your clients feel appreciated. You might offer a special discount on a new product, or first dibs on a new service that has limited availability. Oftentimes, you can find ways to make your clients feel special without spending a dime; it just takes a little consideration.

The good news (for you) is that most companies aren’t doing a thing to stop customers from walking out the door, which means that you have an opportunity to stand out from the competition and keep your profits in tact (and growing!).

Author's Bio: 

Sarah Jo Wood is founder of Evolving Advisors Inc. and author of ‘How to turn a No or a Maybe into a Yes!” Her coaching program teaches entrepreneurs like you to overcome objections so you can sign up all the clients you want, fill your practice, and increase your bottom line. To begin supercharging your sales, download your complimentary sales package today at www.evolvingadvisors.com.