As a small company, your clients are often the cornerstone of your business. Without them, you have no work! When you find a great client, it pays to keep them sweet, and retain their loyalty. When the work flows thick-and-fast and they’re paying you well, you’ve got a good client. Time to hold onto them for as long as possible.
So, how exactly do you do that? Well, it all starts with a strong relationship between the two of you. Build those strong foundations, and you’ll start with a good basis. From there, it’s all about demonstrating professionalism at all times, and exceeding their expectations.
Remember, there is always someone else out there. Unless you’re the very best in the world, you are – unfortunately – replaceable. It’s up to you to make sure the client gets the best service, and keeps you on the books! Here’s how.
Make a personal connection – Business always flows a little more smoothly when there’s a personal connection. When you can open up a little more and exchange pleasantries, the work is much easier. If you’ve got a big client, try to meet them outside the office. Ditch the emails for a coffee at lunch or after-work drinks. Find some common ground outside of the project. By doing this, you break down the barriers and improve your communication. We like to work with people we get on with.
Hit your deadlines and invoice on time. – It’s a simple case of professionality here. In fact, this is the minimum you should do to keep clients happy. You should hit your deadlines with every single project. That’s your job. So, before you do anything else, make sure your work is at the very best standard. Turn it in on time, and be amenable to suggestions and amendments. Lastly, remember to invoice on time. They may not always pay you on time, but make sure the ball is in their court.
Send thank you gifts – It’s not inappropriate to send gifts or cards to your clients. In fact, you should go out of your way to thank them for the work. After all, you’ll want to remain part of their team and help them on the next job. A small thank you card is one way to show your gratitude. You’ll find tons of business ecards at http://www.ecardshack.com/ that are perfect for this. They’re a quick and easy way to say thank you. You could also try sending flowers or food baskets too.
Be transparent – Clients hate it when you’re not transparent about pricing, work, and deadlines. Make everything very clear upfront and avoid difficulties down the line. A lot of people like to provide a quick one-sheet telling clients how they work. Let them know how many revisions you include in the price. Do you charge by the hour, or by project? When do you expect payment? Answer these questions before the project if you want to keep clients happy.
Last, but not least, exceed expectations every time! Go above and beyond the job and provide an excellent service. Wow them. That’s how you secure loyal clients every time.