Good communication is the key to retaining client relationships because this creates trust, maximises your client’s ‘Lifetime Value’ and contributes directly to the success of your business.
In this article, we look at why it’s important to implement regular marketing communications, and how to do it.
There’s an old saying that new friends are silver but old friends are gold – the same can be said for clients. While you can and should seek out new clients, the value of lasting client relationships – especially in professional services – cannot be overstated.
Lifetime Value or LTV is an estimate of the average revenue that a client will generate throughout their lifespan as a customer. For many professional service providers, including accountants and financial advisers, a client’s LTV can be significant, as recurring fees over years and often decades can add up to tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars.
When working with business leaders, we often discuss ‘client perceived indifference’, which is the main reason why clients leave their service provider. Generally, if a client hasn’t heard from you or received the attention they believe they deserve, they may begin to feel that you aren’t as loyal to them as they are to you, which can lead them to looking elsewhere for services.
Eliminating the risk of losing a client in this manner is as easy as staying in touch. However, even if you are keeping up communication, the wrong kind can be just as damaging as radio silence if it’s insincere and irrelevant.
So, what should you do?
In our experience, good client communication generally comes down to being thoughtful and authentic, and following these three simple steps:
- Put yourself in their shoes: know your ideal client profile and what’s important to them.
- Understand their pain points: show empathy and genuine understanding for their circumstances.
- Explain how you can help: demonstrate how you solve problems and create the outcomes they wish to achieve.
That will depend on what you do and the character of your clients. However, if what you have to say is worthwhile and helpful, your clients and prospects will welcome your contact whether it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
If it’s salesy and self-indulgent, you can expect (and deserve) to feel the wrath of your database as your contacts unsubscribe and your social channels go unfollowed.
Time and your ability to create regular and meaningful content must also be considered.
It’s one thing to commit to weekly blogs, but the reality is it’s hard work that requires practiced skills to capture your expertise and thoughts in writing and in a manner that is succinct, educational and compelling for your reader.
While we have a number of clients who ask us to prepare weekly and fortnightly articles on their behalf for distribution by email and social media (often several posts a week), our advice to professionals and business owners establishing client communication standards is to commit to monthly contact using email marketing and weekly contact via social media.
You can always add more as required, rather than embarking on an unsustainable stop-start schedule that will likely leave you feeling exhausted, and will surely be noticed by your clients.
If your client communication has fallen by the wayside (or never quite got off the ground) or if it’s been a while since you shared anything besides an invoice or an appointment reminder, it’s time to re-think your communication approach.
Here are five steps you can take immediately:
- Update your email marketing list and set up a free Mailchimp (email marketing) account.
- Commit to preparing one article per month that aims to help your clients to achieve goals or overcome a problem, and send it.
- Upload each article to your website (fresh content is great for organic SEO) and create a social media post with a link that drives traffic back to your website.
- Review your Mailchimp reports to understand who’s opening your emails, clicking through to your article and which articles are resonating with your clients (and prospects).
- If you don’t have the time or you need help implementing a regular marketing communication program that aims to retain your existing clients (because lifetime value is important) while helping you to gain new clients, call us – we’d love to help.
To find out more, or if you’d just like to talk through marketing communication for your business, please give us a call on (07) 5477 0197 or email email@example.com