New is not always better.
Most business owners have realised that client retention is the key to any successful business model!
We sat down with our own IR Global Client Managers, Charlotte Weeds and Lauren Morgan – the faces of our network, and the front line for our members – to get their take and insights as to what can make or break client retention for a business.
This is what they had to say…
Abi: Thank you both for taking the time to share your expertise! To get us started, what do you think clients value the most when it comes to building a relationship with them?
Charlotte: Communication. Communication really is key! Checking in with your clients, even just an email to say “Hi, how are you doing? I hope the family are doing well!” – even just knowing what is going on with them, their kids, their dog, and having a genuine interest in them as human beings. You create a friendship with people.
Lauren: Remembering something you spoke about last time you had a conversation adds a level of personalisation, and shows you’re not reading from a script. The dog is a prime example! Remembering the dogs name, this sets you up for a friendly chat.
Charlotte: That’s just it, you make it a friendly chat, you’re not phoning them to go through a checklist with them – which we have definitely all experienced on customer care calls! You have to care, if you don’t care it doesn’t work.
Abi: So what would you do in the situation where you have arranged a call, and it is clear the customer is distracted, or it isn’t a good time, do you just persevere?
Lauren: Rearrange!! Always offer another time to speak, our members are busy people, and they will value getting their time back, leading to a more productive conversation next time.
Charlotte: “Is now still a good time to speak” is usually our go-to question. It’s lovely that people don’t want to let us down, but we’re not calling to check a box, we’re calling to see how we can help.
Abi: Agreed – treating people as human beings, and everything that goes along with that, often gets lost in a lot of customer care and can make or break the relationship. I think an individual approach goes a long way too, which must be difficult balancing act when you have so many clients such as in your jobs.
Charlotte: That’s just it, what works for one doesn’t always work for another. Time zones, language barriers, they all come into play as to how you make sure that the clients have everything, they need to make their membership (in our case) work for them.
Lauren: And going right back to basics, just being reliable still goes a long way. Little things like being punctual to your calls or finding small ways to go above and beyond. Trying to think one step ahead of what they might need makes a huge impact on how much they value you and your service.
Abi: And showing how invested you are in their business, and as a person, and how much you care about their success?
Charlotte: This is how the network works at its best. You might have a conversation with two different people in different weeks and realise that they should be connected. Networking at conferences is dependent on who you might happen to interact with, but as we know so much about our clients, we know who to connect with who!
Lauren: Always come to conferences! They make for a different kind of connection when you have shared a drink and a joke. London 2021 coming soon…
Charlotte: I remember I connected two different people in Equine Law – talk about niche – from America and Australia.
Abi: I think there are a variety of great points you’ve raised here – but if you had to give one piece of advice to someone looking to improve their client retention what would it be?
Charlie: Customer care. 100%. Show your clients that you care, and that you know who they are as a human and not just a number on a spreadsheet.
Lauren: Care about the dog!!
So that’s it, the key to client retention – dogs.
Hopefully, that’s given you all an insight into not only how we interact with our members, but how to apply some fundamental techniques of client care to increase your client retention and improve the relationships you have with them.
We’re very proud to say our member renewal rate is always at a minimum of 85% – so our client managers clearly know what they’re talking about!
A huge thank you to Charlotte Weeds and Lauren Morgan for their input. If you’d like to discuss any of this further, please get in touch with them via firstname.lastname@example.org.