Listen to Your Clients
As I'm googling (I don't have to capitalize it because Larry Page didn't) and Twitter-searching "client loyalty" to hear the conversations going on, I see thousands of articles giving me a "framework" for client loyalty or telling me I need to take "these 5 steps" to gain loyal clients. Sometimes, it all just looks a bit overwhelming.
That's probably what I should have expected when I began my search and maybe even what I was looking for, but now I wonder: does it have to be that complicated?
If you want to have a loyal client, don't you just give them what they want and treat them the way they want to be treated (within your limits)? The articles I found all pretty much tell you:
- provide a perfect product or service, and
- deliver the product or service with care, and
- have a plan for providing problem-solving for unhappy clients.
Follow those steps to gain loyal clients. Well, yes, those things are important. But here's my problem with that: can't we simplify that? Especially when products differ and services differ and clients of these products and services will surely be completely different.
Yes, those authors probably know that and most pointed that out in some way or another within their articles. But, can't we just slim those articles down to 4 words: listen to your clients. Ask them what they want & deliver. If they ask for something you can't deliver, then point them in the direction of someone who can.
Maybe you're thinking you'd never want to steer a client to someone else, but if you're in the mindset of client loyalty, shouldn't you first be thinking of how to provide the very best service to your clients? And isn't that meeting their needs no matter what? It won't be a disservice to you to help a client find another service that you can't provide. They'll thank you for it, and they'll surely tell their friends & family what you did for them.
The bottom line of my rant here is that instead of reading countless articles about how to gain loyal clients, you should simply ask your clients what will keep them around. Take a few minutes and write quick emails, or better yet handwritten letters, telling your clients how much you appreciate their business. Extend the invitation to meet with them or to chat about anything else you can do for them. And when you have that chat or meeting, just listen really closely to their needs. Then deliver on those needs.
Simply showing you genuinely care and listen to what your clients need is sure to gain you some loyal clients.
Want to learn more about the NPS?
Check out this webinar we did with Rocket Referrals discussing how you can use the NPS survey results to improve communication with your clients.