Repeat clients are one of the more important types of clients because they generate regular income and work for you. They either help drive new clients your way by word of mouth or they come back for updates and new projects. A repeat client has shown that they enjoy working with your company because you are professional, efficient, and you know exactly what to do for them.
Clients who fall into this category will keep your portfolio full as well as your wallet. Usually if a client comes back to you they are the type of clients that enjoyed working with you and probably have referred their friends at one time or another. You did something completely right with this client and you have earned their trust. Good job…but what did you do? In this article we will give you pointers on how to cater to your clients in a way that will help you build long lasting relationships with them and could potentially create a repeat customer.
In this article I will tell you the way we make repeat clients and how to get your own.
Trust Is Key
Gaining the trust of a client is the most important thing you could do for yourself if you are looking for repeat business. If a client does not trust you to complete the work, give them what they want, and be honest with them then you have a major issue on your hands. This mistrust could cost you repeat business as well as this client’s friends who may be looking for someone with your skill set. NEVER lose the trust of a client….it is disastrous for your reputation and the reputation of your company.
To gain the trust of a client you need to always cater to their needs unless it is offensive to anyone, will hurt them, or will hurt you. If a client sees that you are willing to help them with their ideas they are more likely to trust you with more projects or with their friend’s projects. Gain their trust by exploring all options presented to you, NOT nickel-and-diming them for every thing you can, and giving them the time they need for their project.
Make sure the client understands you when you tell them something about the project. Don’t seem like an attorney to them by using to much jargon. If they can’t understand what you are saying it may throw up flags….you don’t want to seem like you are taking advantage of their lack of knowledge about the subject. Be clear and to the point. Clients love knowing what is going on and they will be more willing to trust you if they do.
Involve them in the project as often as possible. The more involved a client is in the project the more understanding they will be if something does not go as planned. If a client has ideas about the project do not shoot them down without a VERY good reason. If a client knows that you respect their ideas they will be more likely to bring more ideas to you later down the road. If you shoot down every idea they have they may take this project as a loss and move to another designer the next go around.
Form A Friendship
There is nothing like a friend that has the ability to make your business expand through their own network. Being friendly to your clients is the best way to achieve such a friendship…that is all it takes. If a client thinks of you as a friend then they will remember you more often when the subject of design comes up with their other friends.
Sometime being friendly with a client is harder then it sounds, but never show them the unfriendly side of your business. If you must resort to being unfriendly you must be willing to lose a client and potentially lose this client’s repeat business and the business of this client’s friends. This is a big step, make sure that if you take it you are ready to take the consequences that may follow. Always have the better attitude and kill them with kindness….you know the saying.
Always Be There
One of the points that I must stress is the fact that you are always there when they need you. Even if it is just an email, you are always right on cue with the responses. This is probably one of the most important things to a client. If you are reliable then they will know they can count on you later down the road.
Go out of the way to make sure they are comfortable after the process is over. I make a habit to call every client at least once at the end of every quarter. This can be very time consuming, but it refreshes your company’s name in the minds of older clients. If a client needs anything new then they will remember you and how friendly you were with them.
Go That Extra Mile
Clients remember the little things, and the little things are what keeps them coming back. Whether it is a hand written Christmas card that they received unexpectedly, or a free update that they wanted but could not afford. You do not have to go the extra mile for every client all the time or you would stay busy with little or no compensation, but every now and then show them that they matter to you and your business.
Repeat clients come from everywhere and can be the last person you expected to come back, so you have to be nice to everyone and go that extra mile for your clients. In the end, the clients that come back offer you the best return on your investment. They keep you employed and earning money.
Remember, be courteous and let them help. Repeat customers are usually the ones you liked working with in the first place, so help yourself by helping them.