Clients can be fickle — they’re looking to save money just as much as we’re looking to make money. The two are almost mutually exclusive, so we’re always looking for that edge — that balance that will make us as profitable as possible, keep our current clients happy, and get lots of new clients.
If you’re losing clients, or just afraid you’re going to lose them, there are a few things you can do to tighten that bond with your client and figure out exactly what they’re looking for so that you may be able to meet their needs even better than you have been so far.
#1 — Conduct an email campaign with a discount or coupon included
I’m not big on filling out surveys — the only ones I usually like are the ones I conduct on my own. But the few that I do get involved in that really draw me in are the ones that offer me something in return like a discount or coupon on a future purchase. I did this for the first 2-3 years of my business (I even wrote about it in my book “Creating a Prosperous Practice“) and you can gain some insight about your client and what they like and don’t like, while keeping them coming back for more because you just gave them something to use next time they need services like yours.
#2 — Contact your long-term clients directly by phone
To make sure that you maintain that close personal relationship with your best clients, reach out to them by phone periodically. Talk to them about what you offer or are doing that they like, and what they would like to see changed. Ask them to be candid and let them know that you’re seriously interested in their honest feedback.
#3 — Analyze clients purchase trends
This is something you probably should be doing all along, but with smaller businesses run by one or two very busy people, it can be extremely difficult to set aside the time to do it right. What you need to do is select a time period — maybe it’s the past six months, maybe a full year — and see who your best customers are, where they’re coming from, what services they are getting, how much they’re spending, etc.
Below are 4 proven secrets to help you succeed.
1. Stay In Touch
Stay in contact with clients on a regular basis. Offer them a free newsletter subscription. Ask clients if they want to be updated by e-mail when you make changes to your website.
2. Have a Friendly Website
Make it easy for your clients to navigate on your website. Have a “FAQ” page on your website to explain anything that might confuse your customers.
3. Easy Communication
Make it easy and for your customers to contact you. Offer as many contact methods as possible.
4. Impress Your Client
Give your clients more than they expect. Send thank you gifts to your very best clients (remember Pareto principle – 80% of our income is coming from 20% of your clients — know who they are and reward them). E-mail them online greeting cards on holidays or birthdays.
Clients come from all walks of life with various characteristics that make us all unique. Sometimes these characteristics are not as pleasing as we might want them to be especially when we are the client. After all, we are spending our hard earned money and we want things that we buy and do to be perfect.
Clients are the life blood of our business – of any business really. Here are 25 things your clients wish you knew about how they feel about themselves and about doing business with you.
1. I want you to be dependable and on time. I have a very busy schedule and am frantic most of the time.
2. I like it when you thank me for my business.
3. I find that I am frightened most of the time.
4. My life is extremely chaotic. If you make it less stressful for me, I would be extremely appreciative.
5. I like it when I feel like the center of attention when I come to you for a massage.
6. I like to feel like I am part of the elite crowd – give me stuff no one else – or at least very few people – are getting.
I want to known that I am getting the best value for my money.
8. I will spend an unlimited amount of money on what I like – pampering is definitely something that I want more of. But I want it to be a good deal at the same time.
I am loyal to businesses that are loyal to me.
10. I like it when you educate me about my muscles and body but don’t make me feel stupid.
11. I want to be taken care of.
12. When I send you one of my friends or family member, I want you trust you to take care of them.
13. The more money I make, the more free stuff I like.
14. I like it when you look neat and tidy. It makes me secure that the rest of your massage practice is clean — especially the sheets.
15. I don’t really like it when you talk about other clients to me. It makes me think that you like them more.
16. I don’t like feeling I am being ripped off. Give me the best deal possible.
17. I wish you would ask me how I like my massage. There are certain parts of my body that I don’t like to have touched and when you massage them, it ruins the whole experience for me.
18. I lam very self-conscious about my body.
19. Sometimes I don’t understand what you are talking about when you talk about lactic acid or my muscles, but I am too embarrassed to ask.
20. I want to know that what I tell you is confidential.
21. Sometimes I get lost on your website.
22. When I arrive at my scheduled appointment time, I want your undivided attention – not answering the phone or doing paperwork.
23. I would love to give you my opinion of how you are doing, but I want you to ask for it.
24. I like it when you remember how I like my massage and little things about my life. It makes me feel special.
25. I want to relax during my massage and feel better. If you can help me do that I will love you forever.
Some of these things mentioned above have been collected clients, friends and family as well as my own experience as a client. By knowing these things, you can serve your clients to the best of your ability. It will make them happier and your job easier.
Recently I asked what challenges you face in your business and someone wrote in that her major challenge was “getting decent people to come in and pay for my services which are very reasonable”. In this video, I describe a very simple yet effective way to get your ideal client.
I recently coached a client who was having problems with calls from people who wanted everything but a therapeutic massage. After she completed this simple exercise, all of those types of calls have ceased.
There are lots of ways to connect with your clients, but here are seven.
1. Tell a story. This is far less intrusive — and way more effective — than making your point directly. When telling your story, evoke specific emotions from your listeners — laughter, anger, compassion — that would help them connect with what he was communicating.
2. Make physical contact (when appropriate). While talking with your clients, place your hand on their shoulder, back, or forearm when speaking, thereby passing your energy on to your client kinetically.
3. Remember your client’s name. If you have a poor memory find a method that works for you and retain their names.
4. Call them by name. Make sure to call them by name more than once in the course of conversation. Someone once told me that the sound of our own name spoken in a loving tone is one of the most soothing sounds we can ever hear. I agree.
5. Make deep eye contact and don’t leave until the interaction is complete. This shows respect that they are the most important thing happening right now.
6. Calibrate vocal inflections and volume based on the amount of rapport established with your client. If you have a strong rapport was strong, be more boisterous in volume. If rapport is weak, use a more soft-spoken demeanor. Simple, but effective.
7. Ask for their opinion. Humans love to give their opinions on things. On those rare occasions when we are actually asked our thoughts on something — and we are listened to — it makes us feel tremendously important.
Why do you think it is important to connect with your clients? Do you have any other ways that you connect that I didn’t mention above. Tell us your thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear them!