Make Referrals And Returning Clients Your Bread And ButterStuart Taverner
Growing your client base is great, but it can take time away from the day-to-day operations of your business. One way to minimise the problem? Referrals and returning clients.
If you’re a small business owner or freelancer, you’d know that some of the highest praise from a client includes them returning to do business with you, or referring your business to someone else. That’s because it means more business for you – without any marketing efforts or expense spared. But you don’t have to rely on luck to make a client want to do either of those things. Here are some business practices that could encourage referrals and returning clients subtly.
In a nutshell, a client referral is when an existing client recommends your services to someone else they know. Whatever service it is you provide, if your customers are satisfied with the job you’re doing, it’s likely they’ll file you to the back of their mind to bring up with other potential clients if the opportunity arises.
There are many ways to ensure your customers are satisfied. A lot, if not all, overlap with what should be in the operational plans for your business anyway – like exceeding their expectations, aligning with their values, leveraging LinkedIn and distributing your content and resources. You could go one step further and consider adopting a customer referral program, too. The good news is, plenty of resources exist to help you increase your chances of gaining a client referral – including these blogs from Hubspot and Referral Candy, and this article from Forbes.
The best type of client is a client who returns again and again. You don’t need to advertise in a general way to a client like this: you can start to be more creative and targeted in your efforts, ensuring that your services appear tailored to them and consequently feel more exclusive, which will help to encourage further business from them in the future, and lower their incentive to consider switching to the competition.
Countless strategies exist to encourage a client to return. But the ones often repeated are a good place to start: like being helpful, giving them more choice than your competitors and acting on their feedback. It’s worth putting time into: repeat customers are easier to sell to, and repeat customers often (either inadvertently or actively) promote your business.