Client loyalty is a fundamental component of profitability.
When you consider what a client is worth to you over the days, weeks, months and years that they could potentially do business with you, it becomes very obvious that looking after clients and encouraging them to be loyal is absolutely essential.
Depending on your particular business, a client could be worth thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars to you.
Statistics show that at least 68% of client attrition can be attributed to vendor neglect. Less than 10% of clients stop doing business with a vendor because they’re unhappy with the service or product provided. What do I mean by ‘vendor neglect’? Simply that vendors forget, or neglect, to stay in touch with their clients on a regular basis.
As a business / marketing consultant and copy writer, this has become one of my top priorities for my own business as well as for my clients. Without regular client communication, no matter how good your service or product and no matter how happy your client, you WILL find them drifting away very quickly once the communication slows.
How do you maintain client loyalty?
There are several easy, inexpensive and effective ways to do so. This means that you can ‘layer’ different approaches so that you’re constantly in contact without seeming pushy or aggressive. The best way to tackle this is to plan communications for at least a year in advance using an old fashioned calendar to achieve consistent timing and precision frequency.
Some of the vehicles you use for your communication strategy are:
- customer service phone calls
- thank you notes
- email updates
- event invitations
- service or purchase reminders
- personalized seasonal event letters e.g. sale notifications, new product announcements
Planning your communications strategies using a variety of vehicles allows you to operate on a rotation schedule where some strategies such as emails my be on a monthly or even weekly basis, while other strategies are implemented seasonally – perhaps four times a year.
The point is that whatever strategies you use, it’s essential to maintain the communication on a regular basis. It’s very similar to how friendships operate. If you stay in touch with a friend on a regular basis, say daily or weekly, you’ll find you have a closer bond than if you only talk every few months. Once you’re communicating with a friend on a very infrequent basis, you’ll find it quickly becomes less and less frequent until it ends up being maybe a once a year Christmas card.
The less frequent the communication, the less you know about each other and the less likely you are to spend time together. You simply stop having as much in common, though you may still like each other.
Client loyalty operates in exactly the same way.
However, although implementing these strategies will definitely dramatically lessen your customer attrition and boost profits, you won’t maximize the benefits unless your communications are worded strategically.
Creating a ‘friendship’ with a client won’t happen with impersonal ‘mass’ communication. It requires that the client feel that
a. you know them and
b. you care about them
This is where good copywriting can be one of the best investments you’ll ever make. The correct message and wording can mean the difference between a ‘failed’ communication and one that produces significant profits.
If you’re planning on writing your own communications, I’d suggest that you study the craft. Follow the work of people who are known for their results in this arena. Copywriters such as Gary Bencivenga, Drayton Bird, Gary Hulbert and Clayton Makepeace. Read material from the ‘greats’ in the industry such as Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy, John Carples and Robert Collier.
Copy writing is an entire discipline on it’s own, so you have to really love writing to want to put the extreme effort into learning this discipline. If you do, then another tip is to get a professional copywriter with editing skills to critique your work. The investment will pay off handsomely in increased response.