10 Tips on Building a Loyal Clientele
As with all relationships, showing interest in the other party as well as communication is essential. The same applies to business relationships. All you need is that one or two loyal clients and you’re set. Here are 10 tips that will assist in building lasting and successful relationships with your clients.
1.Think of clients as individuals even though they may be a company. While a client represents a company, each client still is an individual. They cannot be treated in a general manner. Different strokes for different folks, they say. Some may have different needs and priorities than their counterparts and will require a little more prodding than others to get the work moving forward.
2. Each time you meet clients make it a point to discuss their needs. The more you ask, the more their needs are covered. Meetings are almost always what’s in it for the clients. It’s a meeting because they want to know how you could help them make their business better. Unless you’re able to show ways in which you can do that, it’s a waste of time.
3. Make a list of your clients and contact them frequently. Creating a database of your clients, no matter how simple, will make contacting them on a regular basis more efficient. Never come in from the cold. It’s easier to ask for something from a client or a friend if you’ve kept in touch through the years instead of coming in from out of nowhere asking for a new project/task. Frequent updates/inquiries will remind them about you and your services.
4. Help clients succeed and you so will you. Their success is your success. If you proved to be instrumental in a certain project’s success, chances are you will be hired again in the future.
5. Always ask your clients how business is progressing. Keeping yourself updated of how their business progresses allows you to determine how to position yourself and how to be indispensable to the client, like they can’t do their work without you. If not, you’ll be the first thing on their minds when it comes to cost-cutting.
6. Study the trade magazines for each of your clients’ industries. Not many people read it, but it is a rich source of information. Familiarizing yourself with their trade allows you to catch up on discussions and terminologies. That way, you show you know what’s happening in your client’s industry from a macro and micro perspective.
7. Remember that the client is the lifeblood of the organization. A company is only as good as the people who work there. Gone are the days when clients could hide behind the institution. Now, companies must have a human face. Help your client acquire a better affinity from their clients/consumers.
8. Get feedback from your clients and find out what your clients think of your service. Don’t wait for feedback; ask for feedback right away. Don’t allow a vacuum in the communications between you and your client.
9. Make it your business to know your client’s business, in every way possible. In some cases, if not most, some companies/clients expect you to have done your homework. Always be one step ahead of the client. Show them that you’ve exerted effort to know their industry. That way, your clients would know that you’re interested in their business and how it’s doing. What good is all their hard work if they’re the only ones who know about it.
10. Strive for consistency. The person who is indispensable is the one who can be depended on instead of the one who occasionally comes up with one big idea. It means submitting reports, budgets, etc. on time. It means doing the boring, dirty work. Consistency is key. The more your clients are assured of your consistent, quality delivery, the more they are confident in hiring you again and perhaps even recommending you and your services to other businesses.