Retaining Your Customers And Market Position
- March 18, 2023
Even after a tumultuous couple of years during and following the Covid-19 pandemic, 2023 also brings with it certain challenges for businesses in the UK
Economic pressures, talent retention, and for many, adapting to the permanency of hybrid working are all factors that make business-as-usual still pretty unpredictable.
And, as well as a necessary focus on retention and recruitment of employees, companies will no doubt be conscious of their own business strategy, plans for growth, and the retention of their client or customer base.
It goes without saying that earning a client’s trust is paramount to the success of your business.
Additionally, you work hard for your clients and to maintain and build your reputation and professionalism. Retaining clients and your place in your own specific market requires strategies to help build relationships and keep those clients coming back to you as their business or brand of choice.
Client retention means you can avoid spending a lot of valuable time in marketing your services or products to earn new business. Also, happy clients who return to you may even provide a lead to additional work if they recommend you to others in their network. This can be a huge boost, especially if they have wide-reaching connections.
So, how can you help retain those valuable clients and increase your repeat business, thus placing yourself well ahead of the pack>? Here are our five top tips that could accelerate retention levels and see your businesses’ reputation rise.
How often do you hear clients complaining that someone from customer service doesn’t return their calls, or that they don’t know where things are up to should there be an outstanding query with the order or service?
Your clients want to feel valued, and it’s easy to make them believe their business is important to you. Start by returning their phone calls or emails. You can delegate some of this work if necessary, but if correspondence requires your personal attention – make the time to address it. This could be as simple as setting aside a specific time each day and blocking off your diary to give you space without interruption to answer clients’ questions.
2. Be Honest
Things don’t always go to plan. It’s critical for your team to be able to handle bad news, as well as good, and deal with unexpected results.
Therefore, it’s vital to be clear with your client that you can’t guarantee results. Managing potential outcomes can be tricky, but preparing your client from the start will make results easier to handle.
Honesty is essential. Don’t be tempted to give false hope and be clear that there may be problems or even a negative outcome if you believe this to be the case.
It’s also essential to be honest about your own performance as a provider of specific services and/or products. For example, if you are late with order fulfilment or dispatch, admit it. If a client or customer discovers you were untruthful about a small issue like late delivery, they will doubt you over more significant issues. Aim to protect your business’ integrity in all circumstances.
3. Charge Customers Accurately
Depending on the nature of your business and the services provided, overbilling or charging in a way that was not clearly communicated to the client will not help establish your business’ professionalism.
Therefore, invoices should always correctly reflect the work done. Time tracking and billing software can help your business to create accurate bills, avoiding unhappy clients who believe they have been overcharged, and resulting in faster payments and higher levels of customer confidence in your services.
Additionally, you may wish to offer various billing options such as hourly billing, retainer or flat fees for services – clients have different preferences, and to keep ahead of the pack it’s a good idea to consider offering different options. Being agile in this way could be the difference between keeping and losing a client.
4. Remain Professional
Of course, the most critical aspect of retaining clients and gaining market position is to complete the instruction of work you have taken on; providing services that are effective and offer value to your clients.
Meeting deadlines, employing skilled professionals, and offering service excellence at all touchpoints will ensure clients recognise your professionalism and return to use your services again – as well as recommend you to others.
Equally pivotal to ensuring your business remains relevant is to keep any relevant employee certifications/qualifications up to date, and where possible (and budget and time allow) invest in training your people to continue to offer the very best service at all ‘moments of truth’ in the customer journey.
5. Consider Diversifying
It may seem a bold move, but diversification can give you an advantage over competitors and place you ahead of the curve. Addressing the ‘where’ and ‘how’ to scale your business should be considered carefully and will be dependent on your current position – both geographically and in terms of customer base and marketplace.
Dramatic strategy changes may seem radical, and remaining credible is paramount, so you may wish to consider small steps if looking to increase your service offer. If you choose to consider this route, a good place to start is by re-examining your strategic plan to highlight areas you could develop as well as ensure you are on the right track for success.
Following these top tips will help you create better client retention, enhance your reputation and keep you one step ahead of the competition in a still-uncertain business operating environment.
If you’re reading this article because you are looking to develop your team, we’d love to be part of that conversation.
Don’t hesitate to call one of our sector specialists on 01772 259 121.
About Clayton Recruitment
Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organizations across the country since 1989 and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.
With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.
If you are building your existing team or looking for your next career move, we can help. And, if you are currently employed, you can be assured of complete confidentiality, professionalism, and honesty throughout the process – as standard.
Click here to speak to one of our experienced specialists or call 01772 259121 for more information on how our exceptional recruitment experience can help your career aspirations.