We’ve all heard it before: attracting new customers is more expensive than keeping the existing ones. This is true, but did you know that it can actually be 15 times more expensive than retaining your current customers?¹
Think about your marketing budget. If this number makes you flinch, then it’s time to focus on client retention. It’s not enough to provide good service and expect that clients will return to you in the future. Building client loyalty is more proactive than that.
Here are seven steps to turn clients into loyal advocates:
- Focus on your client experience. Ask for an objective opinion from coworkers, COIs, or even past clients. Explain that their feedback will help you, and encourage them to be honest. Ask about the entire experience, from your methods for communicating with prospects, to how you get new clients onboard, all the way through to how you treat your long-standing clients.
- Once you’ve determined your focus areas, develop a client survey that asks specific, easy-to-answer questions. The most accurate surveys are repetitious—they present several versions of questions with varying wording or format.
- Refine your service model, and make sure to deliver. Don’t overpromise or underdeliver. Remind yourself that each new client had a previous Financial Advisor who didn’t meet his or her expectations.
- Schedule a semi-annual review to keep yourself in check. Consistency is the goal here. Don’t give another advisor the opportunity to persuade your clients that they could provide a better experience.
- Create a communications strategy that is simple and can be executed consistently. According to a study by the Beddoes Institute, after meeting clients’ preferred communication methods, client satisfaction had a direct correlation to the frequency of communication.
- Develop a relationship that is not just business-oriented. Share a little bit of your personal life, and your clients are likely to reciprocate. Be present in their lives by remembering birthdays and anniversaries, and offering your congratulations during life events, such as weddings and graduations.
- Always be willing to go the extra mile. Most importantly, never let your clients feel neglected. Let them know that you appreciate their business in a way that is beneficial for them. It’s nice to say thank you, but it’s even better to show them their value.
1. Terry Gillen, Winning New Business in Construction (Gower Publishing Ltd, 2005), 89.