8 Client Retention Strategies For Agencies: How To Keep Clients Longer

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All businesses run the same treadmill. You find a new client, serve them as best you can, create an invoice, then move on to find yet another client in order to keep operations ticking along nicely. 

However, by failing to retain existing clients, you are not only leaving money on the table but expending more resources looking for new ones when you already have them right in front of you. 

The reason why so many companies, whether they be freelancers or large corporations, focus on finding new clients is often the same: it’s what they believe to be the best course of action.

But with the right strategies and processes in place, you can benefit from new customers and keep your existing ones on your roster, ready to keep spending money with you rather than something else. 

This post will examine several techniques any business can utilize in order to retain its most valuable assets and keep the good times rolling no matter what.

Importance of maintaining your existing clientele

Prior to delving into the details involving tactics and methods, it's valuable to examine the core rationale for prioritizing your present client base instead of pursuing new prospects.

8 client retention strat for agencies

For starters, it's far more cost-efficient than the highly involved process of hunting for new buyers of your products. In fact, in some instances, it can be six to seven times cheaper than going down the alternative route. 

Furthermore, maintaining your customer base tends to have knock-on effects for the prestige of your business and how it's perceived by outside individuals.

In other words, customer retention can be used as a marketing tactic to prove to potential clients how valuable your services are. For example, the SunCity Advising internet marketing company states that they have over a 90% retention rate, which they attribute to a variety of positive factors.

These factors can be used to set yourself apart from your competition as a company that means business and is able to deliver consistent results regardless of what your customers might need. 

In essence, putting in the effort to provide the very best service possible with the aim of keeping existing clients happy can reduce costs and increase your marketing ROI and customer loyalty.

How to keep your clients coming back for more

As you've seen, it generally pays to put in the effort and keep current customers, but while the advantages are more than apparent, it's often easier said than done.

importance of maintaining your existing clientele

Let's examine some concrete strategies you can implement to keep your clients from defecting to your rivals and keep your bank balance flush with cash!

Recognize what your customers want and give it to them

Perhaps the most obvious way to keep your best customers returning is to ensure you give them what they want!

Although this sounds like pretty basic stuff, you'd be surprised at how many businesses operate a conveyor belt type of operation, constantly bringing them in and kicking them out without regard to what they actually need. 

When you focus on the basics first, everything else tends to fall into place, and this is arguably the most fundamental place to begin. You can achieve this by ensuring a holistic approach when you onboard them.

For example, ask them questions that really get to the crux of what they hope to accomplish by hiring your services.

Once you are both on the same page, you can deliver exceptional results, leaving them content with their choice and having you on speed dial when other jobs come around.

Offer a loyalty program to your current customers

Lots of companies will put a heavy focus on developing discounts and deals for the sole purpose of acquiring a never-ending stream of new customers.

While this isn't necessarily a bad technique, you are missing out by not creating a loyalty program that provides your loyal customers with access to discounts for their following projects or additional services tacked on. 

In many ways, this can help you create a highly "sticky" environment whereby existing customers are drawn to stick with you rather than go elsewhere simply because your services are more affordable and hopefully better than the rest.

Regularly analyze your client's progress and keep them updated

Depending on your industry, you might find it a good idea to keep tracking your older clients' progress and see how your services have produced their desired outcomes.

how to keep your clients coming back for more

If so, you can use that data to contact them and inform them of how your services have helped them reach their goals and if they require any further assistance with whatever projects they might be working on right now. 

Conversely, if you have tracked their data and discovered your business hadn't moved the bar in ways they might have hoped, you could reach out and offer them an update free of charge to hopefully fix the problem.

Doing so could reingratiate them with you and, at the very least, keep you at the forefront of their mind.

Be proactive in your communication and be available when they require your help

Part of increasing your clients' repeat business is providing them with exceptional service. This can be in your product or the quality of service you provide. While it's best to have both, I will touch on the former point in the final point.

Quality customer service, however, is often a major factor in determining whether or not a customer will use your business again.

One of the most effective and, not to mention, cheapest ways is quite simply ensuring you are available to chat when they need assistance!

Again, this will depend on the type of industry you operate in, but almost all sectors can benefit from being available. 

While you should undoubtedly set specific contact times when you are accessible (nobody has time to speak to a client about making a design more "poppy" at 11 p.m.), you should prioritize being available during these designated hours.

Follow-up with clients after a project completion

Let's take two examples of freelancers who have taken on clients but go about things differently. James has developed a website for a client, and passed it over, and the client is delighted.

They both go their separate ways, never to meet again. On the other hand, Deborah has also created a fantastic website and delivered it to her client, which has elicited the same satisfactory results.

However, Deborah has taken the time to reach out after a certain amount of time to find out if her customer is still happy

In this scenario, who do you think will earn repeat business or, at the very least, be recommended to other clients? While we don't live in a perfect world, it seems far more likely that Deborah will succeed in earning more business than James.

Provide comprehensive support services either as a paid addition or gratis

If you want to go above and beyond (which, for the purposes of this post, you most certainly do), it might be in your interest to offer a few additional but still relevant services either for a nominal fee or for free if you're feeling particularly benevolent.

Be Proactive In Your Communication And Be Available When They Require Your Help

While you might balk at this suggestion, hear me out. 

The first thing to consider is that your extra offering doesn't have to be something costly. For example, if you are a copywriter, you could sweeten a deal by offering an additional X number of words to say thank you for their business.

The second point to understand is that this tactic can help you create a deep rapport and put you in their good books with minimal effort.

Develop a comprehensive and systemized client retention strategy that you can use with each new client

This option might not be feasible or cost-effective if you are an independent freelancer who needs to remain agile, but for businesses with a larger scale, developing processes to follow with the sole purpose of keeping your most important customers is vital. 

By consulting with your management team and creating a system that you and your team can follow, everyone will be on the same page and able to do their part when it comes to delivering a finished product. But what exactly should be in this collection of procedures?

Ensure your services are up to snuff compared to your competition

The final but arguably most important strategy is to basically deliver something that you are proud of and that your customers are content with! 

There is no great secret to learn here from an online guru, aside from delivering what you set out to create and within the deadlines everyone agrees on

If you do this, you will already be ahead of most of your competitors, but combined with the other techniques, you will be so full of referrals from existing clients you might have to put a moratorium on gaining new ones!

Keeping your current clients is highly advantageous not only for saving money but also for creating relationships and free advertising

While most businesses make it sound challenging and almost insurmountable, all you really need is to create something unique and ensure they are happy with it. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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