"If we don't take care of our customers, someone else will."
A real estate company depends upon clients for survival. No clients virtually translates to no business! So, it's no surprise to see companies allocating huge funds to market to new prospects with the goal of turning them into clients. But in the process of chasing new clients, many of these businesses forget their existing client base.
A successful business will typically see 80 percent of its business coming from 20 percent of its clients. And it is this loyal client base that has to be protected. Remember, it costs five times as much to find a new client as it does to keep an existing one.
How can you keep your client base from wandering over to your competitor? We've listed 5 simple tips by which you can maintain your loyal clients and also generate new ones:
1. Treat them right: One of the most important elements of good customer service is to make clients feel wanted. Just the words "Thank You" with a smile will reap huge goodwill. You'll be surprised at how much it matters! Say "thank you" to new clients within days (or if it's online, within hours) of receiving your first order. Knowing the names of regular clients and addressing them personally will immediately set the tone for a positive customer experience.
Have a dedicated phone line for long-term clients to allow them more convenient access to you. Make things easier for them the second time around. If you can, have couple of sales persons solely dedicated to deal with regular clients.
2. Attend to complaints: Try to solve clients' problems or complaints as soon as you can. Start by saying that you are sorry for what happened even if it is the client's fault. Then attend to the problem. Never say, "well, that's our policy"- that's a sure-fire tactic to drive your client away.
Use complaints to build business! You may well ask how that can be - by promptly following up and resolving a client's complaint, the client might be even more likely to continue doing business with you. And what's more, they might just recommend you to their family and friends on the basis of how promptly and efficiently their complaint was attended to.
3. Give incentives: Give clients a reason to return to your business. Offer special discounts or rewards to long-time clients. Invite your loyal clients to "special" events - make them feel important and wanted.
4. Listen to them: People like to be heard, they want their opinions known. So, talk to your regular clients and actually listen to what they are saying. And if possible, implement a couple of their suggestions and let them know you did it because of them.
5. Reach out: Keep in touch with your regular clients - send Christmas cards, see them at trade shows, send newsletters with useful information and updates. The more they see you and the more they know about your accomplishments, the more loyal they will be.
The trick to retaining client loyalty is to not ignore them, to treat them well and to ensure they receive value for their money.
Your customers will pay you back by spreading the good word about you.