The Company You Keep - Changing the Way You Think about Client Retention

We often get so wrapped up in the concept of client retention and how to maintain them that we forget why people stay in the first place - Loyalty. Loyalty isn’t something found, it’s earned. And what is a key foundation of loyalty? Trust. So how do we build trust? If we break down what the equation of trust is it would read like this: trust = reliability + delight. How does reliability translate? What do you mean by delight, you ask? Here’s how we can break it down:

  1. Share your values - By sharing your values your clients can understand where you’re coming from, what you stand for, and what you see is “right” and what you see is “wrong”. Values are one of the largest drivers as to why someone chooses to hire someone, purchase something or join a cause.
  2. Be Transparent - Was an error made? Let your client know. Did something not go quite as planned? Let your client know. It’s always better to be upfront and honest versus trying to hide errors and mistakes to be found out down the road. Vulnerability allows people to lean in, to trust that you'll be honest, even when it's owning up to a mistake or a problem.
  3. Exceed Expectations - This is where delight comes into play. How can you do even more than what was promised? First things first, do what was promised then go a little farther. And don't be afraid to ask for feedback. How can you exceed expectations if you don't know what your clients' expectations are in the first place?
  4. Stay in touch with them - one of the largest complaints of clients was that they never heard from their advisor. Stay in touch. Check in with your clients, see if they have any questions, ask if there’s any way you can be serving them.
  5. Attempt to measure and improve client loyalty throughout your business - How long has the client been with you? Do you have most of that client’s assets? Does the client listen to what you say? These are questions you can ask yourself to gain an understanding of where each of your clients stand.

If you're constantly asking the question, what will this person do for me? The less you'll get. The more you shift your mentality to, what can I do for this person? How can I pour into them? The more you reap the benefits because oftentimes, that's what someone will be willing to do for you. Treat your clients with time, respect, integrity? The more reason a client will want to stay with you. They've invested in YOU not just what you're offering them. You're no longer just filling a need, but you're offering trusted guidance. We can't be caught up in the prevention of a client leaving, we have to be proactive and pour our time and energy into what we already have. We're in the business of relationships not the business of transaction. Treat your clients accordingly.