Client retention is a hugely beneficial strategy for your digital marketing agency or freelance business for several reasons. It’s way easier to spend your time servicing existing clients on a regular basis and ensuring they are happy, than spending your time trying to acquire new clients who are continuously churning. Additionally, it saves on your marketing budget since you don’t have to spend trying to acquire new clients. It also boosts your chances of a referral through word of mouth marketing.
We have included expertise from industry professionals in the realm of digital marketing who are offering their tips, ideas and suggestions regarding client retention.
- Go above and beyond
Melissa Tong of Duck Punk Productions suggests “Anticipate what your client needs and deliver that little extra on top of what’s required. That shows you care and you pay attention.”
Milosz Krasinski of Chilli Fruit Web Consulting advises “Most companies offer promises in terms of what their clients should expect and, needless to say, if the company doesn’t meet these, they’ll find themselves minus a client. For me, meeting those promises isn’t enough and, so, a lot of my time and effort goes into achieving ‘customer delight’ rather than ‘customer satisfaction’. I do this by constantly improving my services and by pre-empting a client’s requirements in order to deliver a service that they didn’t even know they needed.”
Omer Riaz, CEO of Urtasker.com suggests “Be vigilant. For the first two months of on-boarding, you should know why the client hired you in the first place. Follow the project scope and be on top of each detail, showing achievements every month. Try to increase the revenues from places the client never expected. Any new revenue is impactful. As well, reduce the client business-centric costs, such as shipping fees, referral fee etc.”
- Understand your client’s needs
Joe Worden of 5150 Digital Marketing Group says “Connecting with clients on an emotional level is key to client retention. Understanding their goals, interests and pain points is how you build a meaningful relationship with people. Gone are the days of strictly transactional business. We cannot forget that humans are emotional beings and they want to be heard, understood, and respected. If you take care of your clients it builds trust, providing safety and security.”
- Stay in touch regularly
Kevin Miller, CEO of GR0 advises “One of the best ways to increase client retention is focusing on the clients that you do not hear from as often or those you are convinced are most likely to stop using your services. Make sure you are proactive and stay in touch with them regularly, so you can stay on top of any questions or concerns they may have. Let them know how much value you are bringing to them as well.”
Briana Provost, Digital Accounts Manager at BluShark Digital says “Consistent and transparent communication is the best way to maintain client retention. Communication is the foundation of any business partnership. If both a vendor and their client are clear about their expectations and continue to set new goals as they achieve the ones previously set, then success is limitless. Doing something as simple as sending update emails for ongoing projects or scheduling a 30 min monthly meeting encourages clients to bring questions, concerns, or positive feedback to the table; and, if you listen attentively to their needs, clients will walk away with more confidence in the work your team is doing for them.”
Isabella Zhou, Marketing Lead at Trustana says “In my experience, customers like to have assurance. When customers experience issues or have queries, we prefer to elucidate personally. This way, we establish human interaction. Compared with an automated response, consumers like to hear from the actual people working behind the business.
It is an essential link to maintain because bots cannot connect with humans. Yes, they can provide technical solutions that work for everyone. But when it comes to analyzing the unique individual situations the customers experience, the only ones who can give them what they need is us. And when we face them, we build affinity.”
Paige Arnof-Fenn of Mavens & Moguls suggests “To stay connected I am a big fan of email marketing. It is a cost efficient way to build your brand and deepen your relationships through ongoing communication.”
Shiv Gupta CEO of Incrementors Web Solutions explains “‘No one likes to be ignored-especially your customer. Many customers complain about issues that will not be solved in one go. Update them about fixing bugs and follow up on all the customer’s problems so the issue doesn’t come up again. Be in touch with CRM, social media, email, LinkedIn, and other platforms with customers. The fact is customers attract customers.”
- Talk about the value you bring to the table
Joseph Randazzo, CEO of Portland SEO Growth says “Communicate all of the work and value you’re adding to their business. And do this over and over and over again. Clients really crave knowing that 1) you’re working hard to help their business and 2) you’re actually adding value to their business.”
Matthew Tsang of My Loud Speaker Marketing says “Be proactive in providing value which will give the client peace of mind and know that you’re always doing the thinking for them.”
Krista Neher of Boot Camp Digital explains “Most clients leave because they don’t see the value in what they are getting. Communication and proactively showing your value is a great way to avoid this. View your reporting as your biggest client retention tool. Create professional reports that highlight the value and results that you are generating. Don’t just automate them – include relevant comments and insights to show that you are earning their business and driving results.”
Nikki Bisel, Founder of Seafoam Media suggests “Cut through the noise to determine what real ROI looks like for each client. You can talk about unique website visits and Facebook engagements all day long, but for most clients, real ROI is how much money is coming in from what you’re doing. Don’t get me wrong, brand awareness is important, engaging with your audience is important, but it all needs to drive toward the main goal of generating more revenue for the business.”
- Utilize social media
Oliver Andrews of OA Design Services advises “Social media can help with customer retention by allowing you to target past buyers. For example, Facebook and Instagram allow you to create target groups based on pages customers have visited – such as a thank you page after purchase – or based on certain events. You know that the people receiving social media ads have made purchases on your site, making social targeting a valuable tool for your customer retention strategy.”
- Adopt a customer-centric culture
Miguel González of Dealers League says “The best advice is to adopt as a core motivation that the client relation is the centre of our business. Having CRM not just as a software but also as a corporate culture. If you address your efforts to customer happiness, retention will not be a problem.”
Clarinda Cheon of Marketing Minimalists says “It’s our job to ensure that our clients are satisfied with the work we do. I think being open to asking for feedback, especially negative criticism has been vital for me in building trust with my clients as it has allowed them to see that I’m not afraid to be 100% honest with them. Another tip I’d also mention is just to be consistent with follow ups. Sometimes clients get busy with other work or just no longer need our services any longer, but it’s important to check in with them even months after that professional relationship has ended because you never know when they might require your services again.”
Solomon Thimothy, co-founder of Clickx says “With the technology we have today, personalization is almost always expected and of course, your clients are the ones who expect it the most from you. This is important because having a personalized approach will make clients feel like they are special and being taken care of. This will foster loyalty and might even turn your clients into your very own ambassadors that will not only boost client retention but also result in lead generation.”
- Offer a loyalty program
Jack Shepler of Ayokay suggests “One way to increase client retention is to reward clients for sticking with your company. Often people call this a loyalty program or a rewards program since it’s inspired by things like the Starbucks Rewards program that allows customers to earn free coffee drinks. But as an agency, you can’t just give away coffee drinks. That where things like discount codes and special offers just for current customers or clients come in. You can have special sales or special offers just for current and previous customers.”
- Continually improve your services
Kai Hulshof of Canopy Media sends his customers a survey where his customers can anonymously rate their experience on a scale of 1-10 and provide feedback. Kai explains “You’ll notice the question on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the most likely) how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or a colleague? – asking this question helps a business understand how their company is doing – if a client rates the business 8,9 or 10 they’re very likely to refer the business to a friend or an associate – a great way to grow a company.
However, the flip side is that if a client rates the business 7 or lower, it’s an early warning that you need to improve something within the business or risk losing that client. This methodology is so beneficial because you’ll find out who loves your business – we call them raving fans – and who needs attention of some kind – you’ll also get deep insight over time about the things that you need to improve in your business to increase client retention. Wins all around.”
- Manage expectations
Isaac Bullen of 3 White Hats says “The best way to retain clients it to make sure right from the start that they know what to expect from you. Setting clear expectations means that there’s no opportunity for confusion once the project is complete. It’s also important that you make sure you’re setting realistic expectations, instead of promising things that you can’t deliver in the project time period.”
To conclude, improving client retention is a great way to boost your customer’s overall satisfaction while saving your marketing budget and boosts your chances of acquiring even more happy customers through word of mouth marketing.