How to keep your clients and customers coming back

No one should take loyalty for granted – even when you’ve done a great job.

These days, when your customers need something, they are more likely to opt for the most convenient, immediate solution. 

You might be the best at what you do, but if customers can’t remember your name or quickly dig out your contact details, they’ll turn to the internet to find an alternative provider.

The delicate art of keeping in touch

To keep your clients and customers coming back, you’ll need to proactively communicate with them, rather than sitting back and waiting for them to come to you. 

But remember to strike a balance between being seen versus being seen too much. Customers don’t want to be constantly messaged by every supplier in their lives!

Here are tips on keeping in touch:

  • Follow-ups – Once your work is complete, you can follow up with your customer a few weeks later to check that they’re happy with the outcome. It may not lead instantly to more work, but it’ll make the customer see that you care about your work. 
  • Social media – If you run your own social media channels for your business, make sure that your customers know about them. You can include links in your email signature, on your invoices, on your website, or you can tell people in person. 
  • Mailing list – If your business is constantly changing with the times, you could consider starting an email mailing list and encouraging your customers to sign up. This approach relies on having new things to say about the work you’re doing or the industry you work in. Otherwise, you’ll have nothing to say in your email updates. And don’t sign anyone up without their consent, or you risk breaching data protection regulations.
  • Recurring appointments and reminders – If you work in a profession where regular and recurring work is the norm, why not encourage customers to book their next appointment as soon as the current job is complete. Once booked in, you then have an opportunity to reach out to customers, reminding them when it’s time for their next appointment. And with tools like our Osu app, these reminders can be sent out automatically.
  • Special offers – Customers may be receptive to hearing about special offers and promotions. You’ll need to think carefully about this because running promotions will cost you money. But one good approach is to target these offers at customers you haven’t heard from in a while as an incentive to come back. If you’re using a good CRM tool like ours, you’ll already have instant insight into how long it has been since each customer last employed you.
  • Business cards, leaflets, and brochures – Even in our increasingly digital world, physical marketing materials like leaflets and flyers can still play a useful role in reminding customers that you exist. If yours is the sort of business that customers need unexpectedly or in a hurry, then your printed materials might make it onto their kitchen pinboard.

Don’t let customer communications distract from your day job 

If you choose your communications moments carefully and put enough effort into delivering messages that customers want to hear, all of the above tactics are on the menu. 

But be aware that while some activities – like booking future appointments and sending out reminders – take no time at all, others, such as running a mailing list or daily social media updates, require a lot more effort. 

When it comes to reminding customers of your existence, the trick is to choose a few tactics that work well, rather than doing everything all the time. 

Interested in learning more?

Why not download our handy guide to cutting the time, hassle and headaches out of running your self-employed business.

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