5 Practices You Can Use to Develop a Client Retention Strategy

2020 has presented businesses with an ever-changing landscape of how to operate, but the need to retain key clients is still a top priority. While the pandemic  has limited in-person meetings, clients’ needs and expectations have remained, and businesses have adapted by using technology such as web conferences to remain in contact with their key stakeholders. With every curveball that seems to come our way, it can be a great time to reevaluate or develop your client retention strategy. Working for different SaaS based organizations has instilled in me that the number one reason you lose a client is because they aren’t utilizing your product or service. So how can we change that?

As we close out 2020 and move into a new year that is still faced with uncertainty, developing a strategy now to engage with your clients can be vital to maintaining a successful relationship. Here are five examples of client retention practices and other key data points you can track to maintain your business.

1. Set your goals early and reevaluate your current objectives. This might seem obvious and overstated, but it is important to have targets you can actively track and measure.  Using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) goals is a good starting point. It’s important to be able to measure your achievements and setting goals using the SMART method can help outline goals to help gauge your performance. In Customer Success role, I place a focus on maintaining 95% of our client base.

2. Find ways to gauge a customer’s feelings towards your product of service. Coming from the world of sales it is always important to uncover a client’s attitude towards your service. If you wait until the end of the contract, you might already be too late. I use tools such as a Net Promoter Survey that periodically checks in with our users and asks them to score their current feelings towards their subscription on a 1-10 scale.  These surveys also allow customers to provide their feedback on what works well for them, areas of improvement, and potential new features or resources we can include to expand on our services. Survey insights are a great way to evaluate the goals you set in place, and can help identify new goals to focus on moving forward. It also creates an extension to reach out to and follow up on your clients’ feedback and lets them know they are being heard.

3. Create and develop segments on your current customer base. You’re not going to interact with every customer or prospect you may have in the same way. Each customer may have a different particular need from your service, but you can still find overlapping similarities to bracket your customer base into segment groups. At Life Happens, one way I have created these segments is through our levels of our subscriptions which have different benefits depending on which level they signed up for. This allows us to identify common factors such as the need for an automated social-media service that comes with the Life Happens Pro Premium subscription. Knowing this allows us to develop specific messaging that resonates with our Premium users that may not apply to a Life Happens Pro user on lower subscription model. We can apply this to other segments as well such as the types of resources an account will engage with. Finding overlapping similarities and communicating strategies to these segments can expand their usage and help them get the most out of their service.

4. Find ways to expand your current relationship or partnership with a client. COVID-19 had a huge impact on the way we are able to interact with our partners and the method of communications we use. Ways we have expanded our partnerships with other organizations and Life Happens Pro users is by having them become involved with our webinars. We understand that our partners and clients are some of the best experts in the industry and involving them strengthens our relationships. This can also provide insight to other users by allowing them to see how top companies and agents are leveraging your product or service.

5. Keep in communication. Another practice that might seem obvious but can fall to the back burner especially as we aren’t able to communicate in traditional methods. A company newsletter is an easy example of ways to keep your clients and prospects informed of what is being released and upcoming events. For example, Life Happens releases newsletters focusing on our latest campaign content and digital resources. In addition to maintaining communication, this also helps direct users to login to their account and interact with our latest materials. More engaged users are more likely to have a better sentiment towards your service, which makes it more likely you’ll retain that client. Another example is identifying partners’ goals for the upcoming year and setting check-in dates to follow up and provide a strategy to have them be more involved. Some of our partners place a higher importance on certain campaigns we run, so it is important to see how they use the materials and making sure they are set up for success.

These are just 5 examples of ways to develop or evaluate your current client retention strategies. My final parting words would to place an emphasis on both the good and bad feedback you will receive. You will need to reflect on both sides of feedback to find where your success has been and where you can improve. Remember, the #1 reason a client cancels is they are not utilizing your product or service, so make sure your relationship stays as strong as possible.