Friday, February 19, 2010

Keep Your Clients Coming Back for More

Following up on the “customer first” theme of the previous post, I found an interesting article today called, “Seven Tips to Keep Your Clients Coming Back for More.” While it’s written primarily for freelancers, I think any meeting-oriented business could benefit from its ideas.

Author Lexi Rodrigo, creator of The Savvy Freelancer blog, advises that it’s easier to get more business from existing clients than from new ones. She offers seven tips to increase repeat business:

1. Offer packages for recurring work.
2. Give your best clients special treatment.

3. Revive “zombie clients.” (Nudge a client today whom you haven't heard from in a while.)
4. Mark important dates (e.g., send a card [not an e-card] on clients’ birthdays. Include a coupon or offer.)

5. Foster a feeling of belonging in an exclusive club (e.g., create an email list and send regular tips).
6. Create promos throughout the year.

7. Ask for referrals (having a client refer a prospect to you increases her loyalty to you).

“As a general rule in life,” writes Rodrigo, “it’s always worthwhile to show your appreciation to people who have treated you well.”

2 comments:

Josh said...

These are some good insights into getting recurring work.

The one thing that I have found is the absolute most important, is to create a relationship with your clients. Ultimately, if you make kick ass creative work – it doesn’t matter if the client isn’t happy… Do what ever you can to make sure your clients are happy, even if that means having drinks after hours or making some updates over the weekend or holiday.

Rick said...

Thanks Josh. You make a good point. Plus, it's interesting to note that serving off-hour client needs is something small businesses can usually do better than big ones. It's another competitive advantage for entrepreneurs!