Keep your customers happy – help them

Assuming the project you delivered went well and that you kept your promises, a key area for business development is to try and attract repeat business from these existing customers. To do this do what you did when you won their business – keep them happy! All businesses encounter peaks and troughs and all will need help from time to time and when this help is required, do what you can to solve their problem.

I’m not saying that you should work for free. Similarly, I’m not saying charge for every minute. Just be helpful!

Make suggestions and point them in the right direction. They’ve come to you for your expert advice so give it to them, but don;t “give” too much! By being helpful you will solidify your relationship as well as prolong it and, in the business climate of today, you must keep the sources of new business as open and as varied as possible.

Another route to keeping doors ajar is the client survey. There are some who will say that this type of marketing is nothing more than ticking a box and offers nothing more than a heavy overload of manuals and forms! However, there are others who find they serve genuinely to improve quality and act as a safety net and reassurance to clients. The digestion of the results will require logging and measurement, but as long as the exercise doesn’t become to onerous and repetitive, why not implement a client survey to your marketing plan?

Finally and some would argue as a more valuable exercise, is the client review meeting. These types of face to face meetings provide an occasion for real, frank discussions from which one can learn and make adjustments to the business from. Before going into such a meeting there should be an internal review also which evaluates one of two things. 1) the monetary value of the client to the organisation and 2) a review of cross selling opportunities.

In business we have found that relationships play a major factor in retaining clients over a longer period and every attempt should be made to help and add value to your client base. Happy clients talk….but so too do unhappy ones!

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