These 5 actionable client retention tips are incredibly simple and so glaringly obvious that you’ll be kicking yourself for not doing them sooner.
1. Thoughtful Gifts to Kickstart the Client Experience
The great thing is that when you choose the right gift, the amount you spend is irrelevant. Do some calculated stalking of your new client’s social profiles, listen to them and devise a gift that is unique to their personality. I once sent a pet rock to a more eccentric client, it cost $8 and was received with fits of laughter. They are my longest running client to date. Ditch the consumables and stationery in favor of something more thoughtful.
2. Delivering a Personal Touch
3. Inclusive & Collaborative Language
The words we use can dictate emotional responses in others. As a freelancer you might use words and phrases like ‘how can I help you?’ or ‘what do you need me to do?’. By emphasizing a ‘you’ and ‘me’ distinction, you may be unknowingly turning your clients off extending a contract. Take time to consider how you can choose words that carry collaborative suggestion, words that root all parties to the projects at hand.
Start doing this immediately by using ‘we’ and ‘let’s’, these seemingly simple changes will greatly enhance the odds of you being kept around.
4. Get in The Friend Zone
Get to know your clients on a personal level. Ask them how their day was, how it really was. Remember important dates, congratulate their successes and show compassion through tougher times. Similarly, let them get to know you. Creating a friendly bond despite your professional relationship has countless benefits, including more constructive communication, a fun working environment and making yourself irreplaceable in more ways than one.
5. Going Above and Beyond
For example, a client’s website is down, they’re on vacation and you’re out of hours. *Sometimes taking the initiative to fix it, despite the circumstances, will gain you the revered badge of dependability. If people see you as dependable, you’ve already set the foundations for a long and fruitful working relationship.
*I say sometimes because doing this on a very regular basis can actually be harmful. Play the ‘something something’ card when things are particularly stressful. Setting healthy boundaries is paramount!