7 Client Retention Strategies for Long Term Growth
In the world of freelancing, one way to get more money, you need to find more work. Typically, that can happen by visiting job sites and freelance websites. Another excellent approach is to create a marketing plan for the promotion of your service and to attract clients. But there’s another set of strategies to obtain steady work and steady income as a freelancer, and those are client retention strategies. If you want to know all about client retention strategies, read this blog to learn how to execute them.
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7 Client Retention Strategies for Long Term Growth
Why Is Client Retention Important?
Before we begin, let us discuss to you why client retention is important for your freelance business.
Client retention is the process of keeping clients to purchase products or avail services from a particular business for more extended periods. Usually, registered companies are the only ones practicing client retention, but any form of business can adopt it in their own simple ways.
Now, why is it important for your freelance business? The answer’s simple. Client retention will play a vital role in your long term growth as a freelancer in the gig economy. How so? Well, if you have excellent client retention strategies, your clientele will be consistent. Thus, you can receive constant freelance work and earn a decent income. You’ll not just have regular clients, but also trusted clients. Speaking of excellent client retention strategies, it’s about time we start talking about them.
Engage Clients as Normal People
It’s somewhat instinct among working professionals to treat customers or clients as if they’re royalty. That’s understandable because once they sign contracts with you, they become your boss basically. You have to deliver what they ask you, and you should do it on time.
Despite that fact, you actually don’t need to see your clients as your boss. Instead, treat them as your partners and peers. Interact with them as if they’re your new-found friends. In that way, there will be fewer boundaries in your relationships with clients. Your connection with your clients will be strong and engaging, and that’s a key ingredient to retain them for a longer period.
Communicate with Clients Consistently
Communication is a simple word, but it has a tremendous impact on retaining your clients. With that in mind, make sure to establish a consistent line of communication with them. You have your email, your phone, and your social media account as convenient communication tools. So take advantage of them. Also, it’s essential to be honest with your clients. Whenever there are issues concerning projects, such as budget estimate and schedule of completion dates, report to them about it.
Practicing consistent communication will help you maintain a connection with your clients. Even after you finish a project for them, try to keep in touch. They might want to offer you a proposal again for future projects, or they might provide you with referrals to meet new clients.
Find Solutions to Problems Before They Escalate
As a freelancer, you need to understand the principle of anticipatory customer service and make it a part of your game plan.
Anticipatory customer service is the process of tracking potential problems and finding solutions before they can escalate. As you can see, it’s basically the principle of “prevention is better than cure.” You don’t want your clients to experience lousy service coming from you. So if you can fix a problem beforehand, make sure to do so promptly.
An analysis by Verint Systems, a New York-based software company, found that customers will switch to another brand 34% of the time if they encountered suboptimal services from a company. We can relate that to freelancing. If you produce low-quality output to your clients, they will look for other freelancers, most likely. Thus, you’ll have failed to retain them, and you shouldn’t let that happen. That outcome will taint your online reputation and your job security.
Ask for Feedback and Walk the Talk
Clients can literally help you improve your productivity as a freelancer. How? Well, by asking them for feedback about the quality of your work. It’s one way to keep the engagement of your client in your freelance business. Plus, it makes them feel that you value their presence and that you’re willing to give them better service the next time around. In asking for feedback, you can send them a short survey checklist with a blank space for comments below.
Once your clients tell you what they think about you, take note of them, and walk the talk. Make sure that the next project you’ll produce hits every criterion.
If You Can, Go the Extra Mile
If you have spare time and resources, try to exceed the expectations of your clients. Go beyond what your freelance portfolio showcases to ensure the satisfaction of your clientele. If you can do that, then your clients will rehire you, potentially. Going the extra mile is a gesture towards your clients that what you’re after isn’t just to earn revenue and increase your income, but also providing the best possible results. Don’t ask them something in return, such as lifting your quotation rate; that defeats the purpose of going the extra mile.
Simplify Things for Your Clients
We understand that you’re an expert in your field or niche. However, most of your clients aren’t. Sure, they might know one or two things about your profession, but you’re the one with in-depth knowledge. That said, make things easier for them to understand. Explain to them the process of the projects without too many technicalities and complexities. As non-scientist characters in movies say to scientist characters who are explaining scientific stuff: “speak English.” What they mean is to explain complicated science topics in a simplified manner that everyone can relate to.
Make it easier for your clients to discuss things with you. If you’re difficult to the business with, and you fail to explain things clearly, your clients might cut ties from you sooner than you expect.
Reward Loyal Clients
If you have loyal clients, cherish them by rewarding them with discounts or freebies. Yes, it’ll be an additional cost, but doing so is the icing in the cake to retain them successfully. So in a sense, giving rewards to your loyal clients is an investment. Plus, a way of expressing your thanks for the many opportunities they gave you. In return, they’ll continue to do business with you in the months or years to come.
Many other blogs about freelancing emphasized the many benefits of freelancer careers. Surely you’re aware of these benefits, or at least a few of them. Of course, your goal is to achieve them. So as our final message to you, apply all the strategies in retaining clients, and you’ll not just enjoy benefits; you’ll also garner a lot of success.