Client retention is very important to businesses. This means a small and medium-sized business (SMB) must make a concerted effort to stay in touch with its customers, so that it can get repeat sales, which helps build a successful business. Besides, staying in touch with valued clients establishes trust.
Sending birthday cards and season’s greetings are an important part of client-vendor protocol. However, they are fairly common and companies employing this method run the risk of getting lost in the crowd.
Here are a few unique ways that SMBs can keep in touch with clients while ensuring they stand out from the competition.
1. Start a referral programme
Valued clients who engage your services regularly can vouch for you. Thus, they would be quite willing to recommend your company to their contacts. Why not incentivise existing clients to spread the word about your product or service? This way, clients have good reason to keep up to date with your offerings, serving the dual purpose of maintaining contact while also increasing sales.
2. Host an event
This method is especially beneficial for B2B companies. When you host an event and invite a client to it, you not only place yourself at the forefront of the client’s memory, but also provide them with a platform to network. This way, you have the advantage of staying in touch with your client, while scoring brownie points for helping them expand their network.
3. Write a recommendation
It’s common to ask a client for testimonials on professional platforms such as LinkedIn. However, change things around and write one for them. They may write one for you in return, but even if they don’t, you would have done something meaningful that they will certainly appreciate.
4. Ask for inputs
Asking a client for feedback on ways to improve your product is not a bad start, but you could take it a step further by asking them for specific advice. Offer to take them out to lunch to discuss particular issues such as a new launch or a business pain point. This way, you will gain useful advice and make your client feel valued at the same time.
5. Profile a client
If your business model allows it, ask for an interview with your client. By profiling them, you will have an indirect testimonial for your business, while they will feel honoured at being featured. This can work especially well for clients whom you haven’t worked with in a while, and it can get the conversation going once again.
6. Make a meaningful investment
Giving back to society is not only great for the conscience, but also helps with client relationship building. Hosting a benefit for a generous cause wins your company philanthropic points. It also provides a reason to touch base with your clients and ask them to get involved, thus cultivating the relationship further.
7. Use information as a conversation starter
Whether it is a hot tip or news item that pertains to your customer’s business, sending it off along with a note saying, “This reminded me of you…” works wonders as it establishes you as a knowledgeable partner.
Maintaining contact is no rocket science, but it does require authenticity and a bit of effort. Technology can help reduce some of the effort required to approach clients through the above means. A good contact management solution such as Sansan can store all client contacts in a centralised database, so that all you need is a unique idea for staying in touch with your clients.