Every year your business will have to deal with expiring client contracts. In some cases, clients may have been so impressed and satisfied with the work and experience they’ve had with your business that they are willing to sign on the dotted line and continue the relationship. Although this situation is ideal, far too often you can sense that a client may be on the fence about renewing their contracts. When this happens, communication with the client tends to start breaking down, which intern makes the situation more awkward and uncomfortable.
Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping the client renews, which they probably won’t, it’s better to have a proactive plan in place long before it is time to renew contracts. To do this let’s take a look at four steps you can take to retain more customers this year.
Look for customers who are 3 – 6 months from their renewals and evaluate the relationship with the client. In many cases some clients may experience turnover with staff, which eliminates your main point of contact. When this happens always find the key decision-makers of the business and do everything to establish a good relationship with them.
Ask the tough questions. This step may cause you to eat a slice of the humble pie sometimes, but can be a valuable learning tool and experience. Has the customer been satisfied with the work and results you’ve given them? What areas do you need to improve to help satisfy the customer? It’s also key to find out the likelihood of there being repeat business. Most customers won’t bring this up on their own, you’ll have to ask.
Discuss and review with your team the customer’s experience and ask them what major reasons they feel caused the customer to feel a certain way towards the work that was done. This is the time to do a bit of brainstorming and identify action items that will help retain a customer.
The last step, which should eventually become the first step is creating an action plan. Explain to your key stakeholders what is driving poor and excellent customer experiences. Also, give everyone in the company access to these customer insights. Once an action plan is in place, benchmark your revenue retention and growth rates consistently to evaluate whether the plan has been effective or not.