Retaining clients is much easier than winning new ones. (Not a news flash, Victoria.) Honestly, I realize you already know this. It’s an important concept, though, so it bears repeating!
In an earlier post, I shared a formula to help you calculate how much an existing client is worth to your business. Using the formula, it becomes readily apparent how costly it is to lose a good customer.
So what’s the best way to keep them?
Delivering shareworthy service is a great way to start. Today, I’m sharing 10 service secrets for improving staffing client retention:
- Deepen and broaden relationships. Nurture your customers; focus on building emotional bonds. Make relationships personal, so customers have a hard time letting go. Network within your client’s company, so that you limit your dependence on single points of contact.
- Be consistent. Demand a high level of performance in all aspects of your service. Develop procedures to ensure it’s consistently delivered. Turn every process into a checklist and inspect regularly.
- Provide a single point person. People like to deal with the same people; turnover (especially in your service department) makes client’s nervous and often leads to attrition.
- Gather customer intelligence. Know more about your customers business than they do (be a consultant not a supplier). Anticipate their needs, and help them realize their objectives.
- Proactively monitory your best clients’ behavior. Be ready to intervene if their recruiting or staffing usage slips significantly – before minor issues become major problems.
- Be flexible. Empower front-line personnel so they can quickly accommodate customer requirements. But, don’t abandon them! Give them lots of training and coaching.
- React quickly. How quickly can you react to customer needs and opportunities? Practice your reaction skills through training exercises-develop scenarios and plan your reactions.
- Combat indifference. According to a recent study, the biggest cause of customer defection is indifference – when customers don’t think you care. Make sure you never create this perception by going to great lengths to constantly remind customers just how important they are to you.
- Create a service “report card” for your company. Call your customers and ask, “How are we doing?” Their answers will help you determine whether or not you’re meeting their expectations.
- Develop a great service recovery program. Mistakes will happen. How you deal with them determines if you keep or lose clients. Create a process to handle problems quickly and efficiently. Go beyond what the customer was expecting.
Don’t get overwhelmed by these suggestions. Start small. Choose the two or three tips that make the most sense for your staffing service, and focus on executing them to the best of your ability. Consistently implementing just a few of these ideas will produce significant long-term gains in staffing client retention – and profitability for your business!