Top 5 ways to keep your clients coming back
So you got them to book a session with you once. And then? Crickets.
“But I thought it went so well! Why haven’t they come back for more? Where are the referrals they said they’d send? What did I do wrong??!!!”
Once you get through the struggle of getting clients off your website and through your door, the second biggest problem sets in.
Getting them to come back.
Here are a few tips and tricks you may not have tried that will raise your retention rates and get those word-of-mouth referrals you’ve been hoping for.
Leave them wanting more
After that first visit, do your clients feel like they’ve gotten everything they can from you? Or do you leave them wanting more? Do you have signs or flyers about “the next step” or do you sneak in tidbits during conversations that reference, “Next time you come we could focus on x.” Or maybe, “If you decide to come back we could consider this more advanced training/technique/session.”
Always be thinking, what do I want them to do next? And make sure you communicate that clearly. You may want to structure services or sessions in a multi-tear approach. Offer an intro level, a level 2, level 3, etc. And don't forget to ask them what you could offer that they feel like they are missing in their life. You might be surprised by what they say.
Show your customers you appreciate them with small tokens of gratitude.
Free beverages in the lobby
Coupons for related products or services
Use their name in face-to-face conversations
Ask how they are feeling and what they enjoyed most about the session
Send thank you cards or birthday cards or holiday cards
Surprise one person a day with an extra 10% off their bill
These small gestures are the little things that create strong, positive memories.
Become a resource
Give your clients the tools they need to share your story. Do you have a flyer or business card they can hand out? What about social media stories and posts they can share? Do you have pens or post-it notes that will end up on desks all over your town? With your logo and your tagline on these small give-away items, you are automatically controlling the message of how people talk about you when you’re not around.
Make them ambassadors
Also, have you asked your clients to help spread the message to friends and family who might benefit from your services? By giving them a way to feel invested in your business and help spread the message on their own, they’ll feel more in control of how and when and who they tell.
Reward the loyalty of those who do come back time and time again. Once you have them, give extra gifts or discounts to show you recognize the time and effort they’ve put in with you. Think of it like this… How do you feel when your phone or cable company gives an amazing discount to new clients but forgets all about the clients who have been with them for years who are paying double? Crappy, right? Entice the newbies, but don’t forget to reward your loyal fans.
Meet them where they are
Meet your clients where they are. Do your clients feel more comfortable meeting with you virtually? In an online chat or video space? Or maybe they prefer meeting in your office face-to-face.
And what about booking appointments? Do they find choosing a time easier through text message, over the phone, or an online form? In this world of increasing digital communication, it’s sometimes tough to imagine that people wouldn’t want to meet face to face. But those who accept technology and meet their customers in a space where they are most comfortable will come out ahead.
In the end, remember that it can take up to 25% more of your time and budget to attract new customers than to retain existing ones. Put in the effort now and relax later as you realize you have a full schedule of amazing people who return time and time again.