Would you rather consistently sell to the same loyal client, or focus entirely on new clients for each new product, launch, or session?
This is an important question that you will have to ask and answer for yourself as you delve into the entrepreneurial world. With the probability of selling to an existing customer sitting at around 60-70 percent and the likelihood of selling to a new one being only 5-20 percent, I think it’s pretty clear that customer retention should be a clear part of your marketing, sales, and business strategy. Loyal customers, or those who have tried your products before, know who you are, what you’re about, and, more importantly, your expertise. You’ve sold to them maybe once, maybe five times – and they’ve connected with your branding, messaging, and product. So, making another sale is going to be a more effortless experience.
How do we create an overall experience that will ensure a stronger likelihood of that all-important return client? We create a positive and powerful client experience that will benefit the customer throughout the process. From an initial email to regular updates, and post-sale journey, a client’s journey should be plain sailing, easy, and enjoyable. Making a sale is no longer about the end product, it’s about the full journey.
At Steph Corrigan Design, I rely on referrals and repeat customers for a significant percentage of my income. This wouldn’t be possible without offering my clients a premium experience from start to finish; it’s worth it to invest your time and energy in high-quality customer service from the moment you are able to.
In this blog, we’ll look at the benefits of ensuring a positive client experience and how you, as a business owner, can introduce this into your business.
Why is it essential to have a good client experience?
We’ve already touched on this briefly, but the single most important reason why your business should focus on having a good client experience is to retain customers. Customers are far more likely to return to a business if they’ve had a positive experience from beginning to end: keeping these clients is far less expensive to you as a business owner than constantly trying to acquire new sales. If you need further convincing, I’ve gone into more detail below and detailed other reasons that a good client experience will be beneficial for your business.
Client retention is far less expensive than client acquisition
According to a blog by Hubspot, increasing customer retention by just five percent will lead to an increased profit of up to 25%. This is a huge increase and it happens because a loyal customer is likely to spend more – up to 300 percent more, in fact. If you want to increase your profits, focusing on client retention as a key integral part of your sales, marketing, and business strategy is definitely something to focus on.
A strong client experience reflects on your brand
Branding is the whole package. In fact, it’s been shown that 96 percent of customers will be loyal to a brand with strong customer service. When people think of your brand, refer it to a friend, or simply leave a review, they’ll be partly reflecting on the customer experience. This is because for businesses now, a successful product actually is so much more than the end result. It’s the journey. When focusing on your brand during the initial stages, work out how you can prioritize your client experience. While your look, feel, and impact of your brand can be created, a good customer service aspect is a key part of branding that is often overlooked – at least in the initial stages.
When you work with me for your branding, we’ll also have a deep discussion of how the overall brand will reflect on your business, so book a call if you want a more in-depth consultation.
A happy customer will leave reviews and refer their contacts
A happy client experience will create a powerfully positive impact on your business. It’s been found that 72 percent of happy customers will talk positively about an experience to at least six people: imagine if these six people were all looking for a service related to your business? That’s six more customers because your business creates a strong customer experience from the start of a client journey through to its end. Plus, happy customers are also far more likely to write or leave a review (and an easy way to help this process is to invite them to leave a review at the end of their client experience!)
How can you elevate your client experience?
There are many ways that you can elevate your client experience. Now, I know that whoever is reading this blog might be in the different stages of their company. So, I want to clarify that not all of the methods I’m about to detail will be a costly investment for you! Some of these ways would require a monetary investment. However, there are still plenty of cost-free methods that you can utilize until you can afford to invest back into this particular customer strategy.
Underpromise and over-deliver
This is a favorite technique of many business owners! Underpromising to a client means that you set yourself a deadline or target that you know you can easily get ahead of. For example, you might state that any product or service will be delivered within seven business days. This gives you plenty of workable time to create a beautiful product for this customer. But, you might have it finished within five business days, and you’re able to send it with two days spare. This will come as a surprise to the client: you’ve over-delivered! You have a satisfied client that now has their end result ahead of time.
Add a personal touch
As your business grows and expands, you’ll likely turn to automation for a lot of your communication efforts. This is normal: you only have a set number of hours in a day and likely a lot of work to get through, so emails and correspondence may be scheduled out ahead of time, particularly for newsletters and promotional emails. However, a personalized email to those that do purchase a product or package from you is a great way just to add an extra touch to your client’s delivery. It may be an update about how the product is going, or it could be a handwritten thank you note or a small gift at the end of working together. Whichever way you decide to do it, it doesn’t have to cost anything except a few minutes of your time – and it’ll be well worth the result.
Automate and systemize
This would be an investment for your business, but when you get to the point that you can afford to do this, it’ll be well worth it. Customer Relation Management systems (CRMs) will transform how your business works, with automated processes designed to put your clients first and deliver exceptional results. With a CRM, it would be easy to track client retention, automate correspondence, and monitor a client journey – plus there are so many more benefits, too! Simply having all this data in one place is a game-changer as your business grows and expands.
My CRM of choice is Honeybook. With this all-in-one platform, I’m able to send my clients branded proposals, contracts, and invoices with ease. In addition, Honeybook offers automated messaging and payment reminders so that I can spend less time on tedious project management tasks and more time serving my clients. Click here to get 50% off your first year with Honeybook.
Have a look at my Resources page for additional recommendations on time-saving tools for small businesses.
There are so many benefits to having a positive client experience. From increased client retention to positive referrals and reviews, it’s easy to see why ensuring that your customer journey is a positive one would be beneficial to your company. Not only would it increase your brand profile, but it would also help increase profits too! There are plenty of ways to better a client experience, and not all of these have to be a monetary investment. From simply underdelivering and over-promising to adding a personal touch in emails and correspondence, it can simply be these ideas that your company uses until it’s ready to take the next step. Once your business grows to the point that automation is necessary, there are plenty of CRMs available that are perfect for a small business to use.
A customer journey should be just as exciting for you as it is for the client. Let’s make it a positive one!