Tips On Retaining Clients

There are many things that make running  a business difficult

But then if it were easy, everyone would run their own don’t you think? Of course there are also many things that make running your own business a pleasure too – like the buzz you get when you secure that big account, the sense of satisfaction at paying yourself more than you earned at your last job to name but two.

There are a multitude of challenges too… cash flow, staffing, and a head spinning array of other things, although one of the great challenges is client retention. Basically doing a great job to the extent the Client is happy to pay and recommend you to others – now there’s something to give you a buzz!

So how do the best companies retain their clients? I offer you some tips that have been hard earned over the years. In no particular order…

  • Under promise and over deliver. If you think a project will take 3 months, perhaps a little more to complete, see if you can quote 4 and deliver in 3½.
  • Ensure that when your development team says a project is complete, that it’s complete to your Clients expectations not the development team’s interpretation of complete. To expand a little, you need to ensure that the specification from the client is clear and agreed in writing before the developers start work, furthermore you need to ensure that the developers buy into the Client expectations and agree they are achievable and finally you need a check list that your head developer completes to confirm the website does what it’s supposed to do.
  • Ensure you have detailed, constantly evolving checklists. There should be one per project and dare I say they should be in paper format and physically signed by the responsible person. True they could so easily be signed off online on some form of spreadsheet or database, but trust me here, far more will take proper responsibility if they have to pick up a pen and sign to say the Client logo renders correctly in Safari (for example) than if they have to check a box on a database.
  • Keep a record of how long each project takes, as it will help the future accuracy of your estimates.
  • And smile! Smile when you answer the phone, smile when a Client visits and be nice to your team… people like nice people and it all helps.
avatar Name: Alex Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.” Visit Alex's G+ Profile. and Twitter
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