The Foundation for Any Business
A common area for improvement that I have found in many business organizations, both large and small, is putting huge efforts and resources into new clients and not as much focus on existing clients.
In my insurance brokerage ownership dates, the number one metric I paid attention to every month was our client retention rate. In other words, how many clients had renewed their insurance with us.
While we always wanted to grow, and certainly put resources in place to allow us to do so, it was the existing clients I was most interested in keeping as long term clients.
Long term clients can be the foundation for any business. Here’s why;
Because they keep coming back to your business on a recurring basis, long term clients are essentially automatically depositing money to your bank account – recurring revenue is always good for a business bottom line.
Long term clients tend to value a business more – putting trust, being tolerant of mistakes, and treating your team members professionally. As a result, lower stress levels for all concerned.
They are often willing to refer their friends, family, and colleagues to your business, especially if you have a great strategy to encourage referrals.
Long term clients are a known entity by your team, meaning your team can deliver on the expected service levels because of their experience in working your client.
At Mumby Insurance, we were always proud to share our client retention rates and humbly brag about them being well above industry norms. It was a bit of an inside joke, our clients only left us if they moved to an area where our business could not service our client any longer – though I would gladly have gotten my insurance license in an exotic location like Fiji – if only I had been asked to do so!
Over the years, we had thousands of long terms clients – I remember working with some of them when I first got my insurance license in my late teens, and as my clients lives grew and evolved, so did mine. I always had a skill for picking up the phone and hearing “Hello” and knowing who I was speaking to before they even said their name.
Here are some of the strategies we utilized for long term client retention.
Birthday calls and emails, with the intent to always be the first to wish them a happy birthday
Hand written thank you cards that I personally signed to thank clients for remaining with us
Being part of their professional community by attending and sponsoring various events and volunteering our time to help out
Keeping our core values top of mind in our business, which engendered more trust with clients
Acting as a trusted advisor – even if it meant advising a client to deal with a competitor of ours
Being known as the expert in their profession/industry by focusing on niches where we had expertise, and saying no for anything outside of our expertise or bandwidth.
Working hard to bring clients back if we did lose their business due to a service or pricing issue
Setting the tone for our client experience by answering our calls with “how can we make this the best call of your day today?”
Having team meetings in which we asked our team to score our service levels, followed up with “and how can we further improve?”
Monthly client newsletters that kept our clients up to date about changes in insurance, our business, team, and how we could better serve their needs.
All of these worked in combination to achieve the goal of long term clients that was so important to our business success.
If you are a business that is losing existing clients, or would like to leverage your long term client relationships in a way that grows your business from six figures to seven and up, you can book a call with me at https://letsmeet.io/dreamteamconsulting/discovery-call