People come and go but that’s the thing we don’t want to happen to us when it comes to business clients. As much as possible, we want to keep serving them. We seek to be that business where clients keep on coming back. After all, their retention indicates that we are offering nothing but high-quality products and services.
In addition, as you might already knew, winning new customers takes more efforts and finances than keeping the old ones. As a matter of fact, a study conducted by Bain and Company Inc. revealed that “acquiring new customers is up to 7 times more expensive for companies than actually securing clients.” And so, now that client retention makes more sense, how do we really do it? In what particular ways can we possibly make them stay?
I can point out as many tips as possible on how to retain customers but that’s a too general pick. What I wanted now is to provide advices on retaining clients in an industry I’m specializing in which is none other than Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The number of SEO companies here in the Philippines is continuously growing. One of the agencies that’s already doing well on the search engine is Carl Ocab, formerly the kidblogger who reached the number one spot in Google for the keyword make money online. Being in the same field as him, I experienced handling clients for SEO and witnessed how they come and go. But looking at the process, I was fortunate to learn how to possibly retain my customers.
Give them the best
When I say give them the best, I’m not only talking about your SEO service – if you were able to establish desirable results like putting their pages on top of SERPs, increasing their unique visitors, or converting visits to sales. Though it’s a big chunk of their retention, other factors also play an important role on keeping your clients coming back. Such include communication – of how it takes place on both parties, its effectivity, and your availability for interaction with them whenever they have an inquiry or there is something they want to be cleared to them. Every business must seek to fully strengthen their customer service so as not to lose existing clients.
Aside from it, giving them the best knowledge is also crucial. SEO can easily get technical and even the word itself can make clients scratch their head. Before you proceed with your SEO campaign, let them understand first what you’ll be doing and how it will affect their business. And as per giving them reports, considering teaching them how they can track results. For instance is simply performing a manual check on their keyword rankings. In this case, you’ll be able to build trust as they’ll see you different from others who’d likely drown them with too technical terminologies.
Let them go
You may find this inappropriate to be listed here. Why would you want to let your clients go if your main objective is to make them stay, right?
But first, I want you to mull over this famous quotation:
“Once you had the best, you won’t settle for anything less.”
We are all customers at some point and in a mindset of a customer, he wants to know which products and/or services will best suit his needs; this is only reasonable since it’s a matter of decision of where he will put his hard-earned money. He will try and try until he discovers what’s best for him. However during his trial, he may not identify yet the best there is. Though he can be satisfied with one thing (that could be yours), he may still decide to try others, weighing his chances of finding another that can satisfy him even more.
In your experience doing SEO, you may find out all of a sudden that your client wants to stop getting your service. And you may look at it too hard to comprehend why knowing that you have done your best and you were able to deliver good results to them. In this case, if you think you really were able to provide them high-quality results, be confident enough to let them go. If it’s you who introduced SEO to them, then it’s likely that they haven’t tried other companies who also specialize in SEO. And that could be the reason why they wanted to leave. They may want to try services by other agencies or chances are they desire to know if they will be able to see better results from a different agency (probably a competitor) that’s eagerly wanting to get them. But worry less about this. There are only two things possible to happen:
- They will come back to you. This could be the most favorable outcome for you as it will imply really good results from your SEO service. If they’ll come back after trying other’s offer, then they are likely to be with your business for longer.
- They will continue availing service of other SEO agency (your competition).
If you haven’t heard from them after a month or two, then supposed they are more satisfied with the service they are currently paying for. But instead of beating yourself up considering that your competition was chosen by your previous client over you, what you might want to do is improve your service. Well, this is quite given but without you knowing, there could be industry updates, probably new tactics for link building that your competition is already utilizing. You can identify your competition through your previous client. Chances are they have footer links on their client’s accounts (that’s what most SEO companies do). Once you identify the competition, it’s about time to determine and measure their SEO tactics. Using SEO tools, you can review their backlinks, where is it coming from and what anchor texts they use in the pages they are optimizing. You may also want to check their percentage of do follow and no follow tags for a deeper analysis of their tactics. After studying theirs, the final process is to further your strategy, better than your current schemes and better than your competitors’ tactics.