Satisfied clients are the lifeblood of any small business. However, in spite of this simple truth, many enterprises don’t put much effort into turning first-time customers into repeat clients. More often than not, this is done out of ignorance as opposed to outright incompetence, but regardless of the underlying cause, the result is the same.
4 Tips To Hold A Good Reputation Among Your Clients
Luckily, attracting a steady stream of repeat clients isn’t nearly as tricky as some small businesses make it look.
1. Meticulously Meet Deadlines
Every deadline should be treated as sacrosanct. One of the easiest ways to fall out of favor with a client is failing to meet deadlines. Just a single missed deadline has the power to ensure that a client never again seeks out your small business services.
With this in mind, you and your team should make a point of going above and beyond the call of duty wherever deadlines are concerned.
To help nip missed deadlines in the bud, you should avoid overpromising. When business owners are desperate for a client’s patronage, they’ll sometimes agree to deadlines they don’t possess the time, resources, or human resources to meet. While overpromising may help you win over a new client, their attitude on your enterprise is likely to sour when you invariably fail to complete your work by the agreed-upon date.
As such, you should never agree to a deadline you know you can’t reasonably meet. Of course, this doesn’t mean that deadlines can never be altered mid-project.
For example, suppose a client amends their expectations and piles additional work onto an assignment your team has already started. In that case, you are entirely within your rights to request a deadline extension.
Furthermore, if an emergency springs up and you have no choice but to ask for an extension, make a point of informing the client as soon as possible.
2. Keep Clients Well-Informed
It’s important that you and your clients remain on the same page throughout every project. Failing to come to a mutual understanding concerning expectations, deadlines, and other key elements is liable to result in a host of frustrating miscommunications.
In the interest of avoiding this, remain in regular communication with clients, and keep them well-informed throughout every phase of a small business assignment. Additionally, if you regularly have cause to reach out to multiple clients at once, dependable mass texting software can be a huge timesaver.
3. Exude Courtesy
No one enjoys being on the receiving end of lackluster customer service. Just as you wouldn’t appreciate being treated discourteously by businesses you patronize, your clients are unlikely to be amenable to such behavior from your small business enterprise.
This is why it pays to exude courtesy in all of your client interactions. Even if a client has a complaint to make, a personable attitude on your part can help disarm them and prove conducive to reaching an understanding.
It’s worth noting that not everyone who exudes rudeness necessarily; means to. So, if you or any of your team members have a habit of displaying inadvertent curtness, start being extra-mindful of your cadence, tone, and word choices when dealing directly with clients.
4. Own Your Mistakes
Many people will go to ridiculous lengths to avoid answering for their own mistakes. While some individuals view this as a sign of weakness, others simply don’t wish to deal with the consequences admitting their mistakes would entail.
It’s impossible to find a small business of any size that doesn’t make the occasional blunder. The difference lies in how they deal with it. Although no client is going to be thrilled in response to mistakes, readily admitting fault and vowing to make things right is a great way to illustrate a commitment to personal responsibility and customer satisfaction.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a successful small business that doesn’t boast a sizable array of regular clients. While getting a new client is always satisfying, your ability to hang on to that client will be the actual test of your business’s mettle.
Since a single dissatisfied client can cause big problems for your business – mainly if they frequent popular consumer feedback sites – it’s in your best interest to go above and beyond the call of duty for every patron who darkens your doorstep.
Small business owners looking for effective ways to keep first-timers coming back should heed the measures mentioned above. So which strategy are you following? Do not forget to share your opinion in the comment section.