Ep 82: Retaining Clients

17 Apr 2023


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Hello, welcome to episode number 82 of the website, coach podcast. And you will have a great Easter. I am recording this just after the Easter weekend. Having eaten far too much chocolate. But I'm also just back from a trip to the lake district. It was glorious sunshine for a couple of days. And then of course we did suffer some rain. And the reason I'm telling you that is because that trip did inspire today's episode. Which is all about getting customers to come back. Now I live in Kent. And the lakes is a long drive. It's six hours on a good day. And believe you and me, it's not often we have a good day driving up to the lakes, especially at Easter weekend. But we go every year. And we stay in the same hotel. Every single year. We have been going now for over 25 years. The first year, and we're just four of us, my parents, my brother and I, and now we're 11 as I've got married and had a family and my brother the same, and my mother-in-law comes with us to. So even ignoring the increase in prices. The repeat revenue. Because of the number of times we've been and the number of people that now come. Has been over 50 times what the original revenue was. That's a lot. It's a lot more revenue from a repeat client than from the very first time we went. So why do we go back? Well, in this episode, I'm going to talk about why we go back and how you can apply similar principles. Now. You probably know that getting repeat business is incredibly helpful for your business. When clients come back to you time and time again, they're likely to spend more money with you over the long term. So it might be booking additional sessions, buying more of your products. It might be upgrading. And of course there is referring their friends and families to your business. And these people are very loyalty view. And especially in, for example, a downturn. They are still more likely to come back and it's just much easier to retain an existing customer. Or to get an existing customer to come back to you than it is to actually get a new client. And. It's a very good base. Level of revenue as well. So if you offer something like, um, At York say a yoga teacher or massage therapist. You know that getting those clients to come back time and time again is incredibly good base revenue for your business. And you can obviously build on that. And actually I do similar in my business. About 20% of my revenue last year. Was from, the hosting and maintenance. I provide to clients whose websites I have built. And that's a really good, predictable level of revenue every single year that I get. And obviously it's increasing as I build new websites as well, because the retention rate on that is incredibly high. And probably each year I may be loose, say a customer who decide they're no longer going to continue in business. Very very occasionally there might be going to somebody else. But. It's really good. Predictable revenue. And the other thing is with those is those clients when they need additional changes to their website, for example, they come to me to do it most of the time. A couple of them have VA's or tech VA's as well. Most of the time they come to me. And so actually probably a better quarter of my revenue, maybe even a little bit more than that. Is from that client base. That the benefit isn't just, you. There is a benefit to the client as well. So we certainly find this when we go up to the lakes and stay in the same place every single time. Um, because we know them. We know exactly what we're going to get. Any chair we go, we do sort of think, oh, I wonder what changes they have made to the hotel because they do continually invest as it was very interesting to see what they have done. But we know what we're getting. We know, and we trust and we feel really comfortable and competent when we go there that we are going to have a great holiday. Um, And. I think the other thing is that it's something we need. We have the competence to be able to ask for it. They know us as well. So that level of trust really works both ways. So, how do you get kids to come back? Well, the first thing, which is very obvious is to offer a good service. We clearly would not be going back. It's a surface was terrible. Uh, if it was something like a faulty towers or something like that. But we go back because every year the service is good and it's not just a service. It's great. It's the whole environment. And now not every single thing is amazing. I will be the first to say that, but the things that are important to us are, so we like, you know, Good food. We like friendly staff and frankly, You know, If it's not the, I dunno, the nicest biscuits on the nicest toiletries in the bathroom. Then we don't care so much about that. So it's a case of thinking about what is important to your clients. And making sure, especially the clients you want to come back, making sure that you focus on delivering that and doing that really, really well. So think about, say what it is for your clients that you can continually do. What's important to them. And that you can really focus on. Is it speed of service? Is it friendliness of service? Is it cost. Uh, what is it that they, that is important to them and that you can deliver really well on. The second thing. It's to build up a relationship with them. And there is no doubt about it that we have built. Very good relationship with the owners of this hotel. And the ownership has changed from the parents to. The daughter and her husband. Over the time that we have been there, it's a family run hotel. Um, and we have a very good relationship with them. We have a very good relationship with the staff. And there's a lady. Uh, one of the waitresses, she's quite senior waitress who has been there a number of years. And, you know, she obviously recognizes that. From year to year. And this year, she very sweetly, uh, my nephew who is very into his food. Uh, she, um, she gave him a pad of paper. And he took the orders one night and she got him to. You know, tech going to the kitchen and take the orders into the kitchen and then, uh, you know, sort out the cutlery and help set the table and those kinds of things. And that's because that relationship has been built up and she knows that he's really interested in his food and quite interested in the kitchen. And what goes on in a restaurant is only seven blessings. He's very, very interested in that. And so they actually, Nope. Took that, and it wasn't difficult for them to do. But because the relationship is there. They. Really made the most of that. So, and obviously that just warmed our hearts as well. especially when she. You know, managed to find a Dicky bow for him to wear as he was waiting on our table. And that is the benefit of having a good relationship because we already have that great relationship, but If we hadn't, it would have made us more likely to go back. So building up a really strong relationship with client. You want to make sure that you are their number one choice for whatever it is that you do, and they're not tempted to go anywhere else. That they will stick with you because they know that there is a very good relationship there. The third thing is. Making it easy for them. Make it easy for them to rebook. And this one. Is critical. So there is one year in the last something like 27 years. So they're two years in the last. About 27 years that we have not been to this hotel. One of which was COVID and the other was fairly early on and we hadn't rebooked. And when we came to book it, it was full. We couldn't get the rooms that we needed. So we ended up going elsewhere. Now, what we do now is when we go, we, as we're leaving, we rebook for next year. After we have impact booked for 2024. Already. And we are not an organized family. So that is something that is fairly unique to going there. But. Before your clients leave. Ask us. I want to rebook my hairdresser does this. My dentist does this. People are fairly used to it, but can rebook before they actually leave. Or even better. You could see whether you can book a block. So obviously it doesn't work with something like a hotel, but if you are. At yoga teacher or that massage therapist or whatever it might be, try and get people to book a block of, uh, sessions with you. Before they leave, maybe they have a trial one and then get them to book a block. And put the dates in the diary. So it's not just going back once, but it's coming back, you know, every two weeks, every week or whatever it might be. And my other personal experience of this is. I used to go to It's glass. And I booked for the whole term. I couldn't make every single week, but I booked for the whole term because that's what you had to do. And a new plot, a studio is open near me and. Needed just to say I've been going less often because he booked them one at a time. So I think, oh, well, I won't. I'm not going to book. Cause I don't know what I'm doing next week. If I had booked a block and I knew I booked for every single week, I'd be much more likely to go. Then as is currently the case where I go really quite sporadically. The third thing. Sorry, the full thing can't count today. Which is related to that is providing an offer that is attractive to them. So it may be that you gave some kind of a discount for block booking. It may be that by booking straight away, they can get the time that they actually want to get. Or it may be that you offer some kind of loyalty bonus. It doesn't have to be financial. It could be something. Additional that they might get for being a loyal client. But again, it's a case of thinking about what is going to make or persuade somebody who is an existing client. Come back again. What it is that you can offer. And the final point really? Is to follow up. So it may be that they don't book straight away. But you can email them. Or message them. Text message DM over social media. And just drops them a note asking if they'd like to rebook and it might be that you, again, there is some kind of incentive for rebooking. So you might say that I'm getting quite booked up for the next month. If they would like a session. Um, it might be that you offer some kind of a, again, a loyalty bonus. Um, but reminding them of the benefit of coming back to you. Is key here. So don't be afraid to follow up. I know, you know, I get regular reminders from quite a few services that I have used in the past. Seeing if I want to book again, it might be my obsessions telling me that I am due for another appointment. Or something like that. And usually they go unread in my inbox. Together with lots of other emails, which are in my personal inbox and it, my business inbox. Um, but the fact that they are continually reminding me means I will eventually rebook. So. There are certain services that I use, which I know that I'm overdue and appointment. And I will eventually book, but if they hadn't been reminding me. On a monthly or quarterly basis. Then I would be much more likely to forget. And I suspect the same applies to you as well. So don't be afraid to follow up with people and see whether they want to, to rebook. And I'd say it depends upon the relationship that you have with them. As duke, which is the most important. Appropriate platform to do that. Is it doing it via email, which is, can be fairly impersonal. Um, you could just email all clients in one go. Obviously that's assuming that you have the approval from them to market to them in that way. Or it could just be a very personal DM to somebody that, you know, that is a real one-off. And I know quite a lot of people who have had a lot of success in giving that. So that's it fairly short and sweet this week? But I just want to run through the five ways you can retain clients, uh, briefly again. And so the first is to offer a good service, which is obviously pretty self-explanatory. But it's a case of thinking in particular about the parts of your service, which are important to. Any key to your ideal clients? The second is to build up a relationship with them. You want to be trusted and you want to be liked by them. And you want to be then number one choice to go to for whatever service it is that you. Uh, provide. The third is to provide is to make it easy for them to rebook. Um, either by doing it. On the day or, um, just generally making it easy for them to rebook. The force is to provide an offer that they will like, and that may incentivize them, or motivate them to rebook either to make sure that they get the best availability or alternatively, it might be a financial. Uh, benefits to booking, for example, at block. Or it might be some kind of a loyalty bonus. And the final way is to follow up, say, do not be afraid to follow up. So that's it for this week, fairly short and sweet. And if you want to know the name of the hotel that I stay in, in the lake district. If you are looking to go up there, then. Feel free to DM me. I'm on Instagram at, beyond the KT, or send me an email, say hello at, beyond the kitchen table.co.uk. And if you're enjoying this podcast, then feel free to drop me a note and let me know. I always like to hear from people who listen. And I will see you again next week. Have a great week everybody. And don't forget to try and retain existing clients.