No one likes client turnover. You want to keep your clients happy because happy clients mean a steady income. And to keep them happy, you need to ensure that you’re providing them with plenty of value in both the short and the long-term.

Customer loyalty and retention are often at the heart of a successful business. A mere five percent increase in customer retention can lead to a 25 percent increase in profit. A retention strategy adds value a lot faster and more efficiently than one focused on bringing in new clients. And as we all know, very happy customers and very unhappy customers are the ones who are most likely to share their experience with others. So it’s definitely to your advantage to ensure there are more of the former than the latter.

You know that providing more value is essential, but do you know how to ensure you’re doing it? Here are eight tips to follow that will help you keep your clients happy and keep your client retention strong.

1. Don’t Make a Promise You Can’t Keep

This rule is pretty standard for providing stellar client service. To provide value, you need to meet your clients’ expectations, and then some. It’s important to always deliver on what you say you will since this helps strengthen the bonds of client-business relationships and ensures your clients know they’re important to you. Plus, it shows them that you’re not a liar, which is always good.

If you’re worried about setting expectations too high and not being able to get the job done, give yourself some buffer time by adding a day or two to the turnaround date. This will provide you and your team the ability to focus on delivering solid work without being under a time crunch, and it will impress your clients when you complete the project earlier than they expected. Trust me; it’s easier to send a client something sooner than expected than it is to ask for an additional day or two.

2. Create Custom Bundles

A client is like a snowflake: each one is unique. It’s extremely rare to service clients that have the same goals, objectives, business plans, and needs. In fact, I’d say it’s near impossible. So, it isn’t great logic to assume that your clients will find a one-size-fits-all solution applicable to their specific needs.

Don’t force your client into a plan that doesn’t work for them. Instead, make sure you do your research to understand their industry and ask them plenty of brand discovery questions that unveil their pain points, audience, their selling points to their clients, and so on. Then, put that information to use by creating tailored services that provide them with precisely what they need to succeed. Doing so will only show them how valuable your organization is.

3. Send Gifts

There’s a lot of value in making someone’s day. Send treats like a personalized note and a gift card on your client’s birthday, or some surprise company swag just to thank them for their business. Sending gifts is a great way to impress your clients and let them know they matter, and to keep your business top of mind. Don’t be afraid to get creative either; a pizza party or even a singing telegram are totally unexpected — and totally memorable.

4. Create Content Just For Them

You talk to your clients almost every day. You get to know them pretty well, and that includes knowing their issues and complaints along with their praises. Often, a client will let you know when they don’t know something about your company or your product. While it may not always be a pleasant conversation, there are things you can do to turn it into a great experience for them.

If a client expresses an issue or question that you think is pretty unique or important, use it to inspire some content ideas. Share the question or concern with your marketing team (they’ll thank you for aiding in their brainstorming process), so they can create a blog post based on the idea. Once the article is live, share it with your client, letting her know she was the reason you made it. This shows that you are an active listener when it comes to getting her needs met and that you value her opinion and insight. Additionally, you can also enable your clients with a website portal so that you can directly exchange information, necessary documents, and resources in one place personalized to your clients’ needs, further enhancing their experience and convenience in working with your company.

5. Partner in Other Ways

Maybe your client could become a valuable webinar partner. Or maybe you think they have some great things to say and would like them to contribute to your blog. Think of different ways you can partner up with a focus on finding opportunities that are as beneficial for them as they are for you. For example, if they write a post for your blog, let them share a link back to their own content in the post so they can get some additional traffic back to their site.

6. Use a CRM

A CRM will help you get to know your clients better so you can better meet their needs. This includes pulling their social data, website behavior, and content preferences and then using that information to target them with outreach they can make use of. It’s personalized content at its best, and a more effective value driver than sending over a bunch of stuff they don’t want or need.

7. Have Regular Check-Ins

Whether it’s by phone, over webcam, or in person, you should be checking in with your clients regularly to ensure their needs are being met. Make sure they feel like they can offer candid feedback since the more open the dialogue, the more you’ll be able to continue improving your service. Also, use this time as a way to give them a status report on various deliverables that are pending, or to request anything you may need from them. It’s also just a great excuse to touch base and keep your relationship strong.

8. Refer Business

Providing leads to your client can be a valuable gift that keeps on giving. If one of your clients has expressed needing help in an area that another one of your clients specializes in, refer them! It’s a show of good faith, and will never go unappreciated. If you’re willing to try and throw some business their way, they’ll definitely remember the sentiment and possibly even return it.

Follow the tips above for happier, more stable client relationships. While taking actionable steps toward providing your client with as much value as possible seems like a no brainer, many companies fail to rise to the challenge. Do it right, and you won’t just impress your customers — you’ll also soar past your competition.

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by Benchmark Team