I have worked in digital, branding and direct agencies for the past 25 years, and an agency’s organic growth is the most misunderstood aspect of seeking new agency business. It is also vastly underrated and unappreciated aspect of its contribution to an Agency’s growth
Since the downturn of business in 2008, many businesses have had to tighten their belts. But too many Advertising Agencies are missing their biggest opportunity to keep their own costs down by building loyal relationships with their customers and other stakeholders.
As the old verse goes, “Make new friends, but keep the old ones. One is silver, the other is gold.” Similarly, a long-term customer of an Agency is of more value than a single-deal customer, and it’s a lot less expensive to keep a current customer than it is to acquire a new one.
‘It is six to seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.’
And, that is why I am a huge believer that businesses should never chase new clients at the expense of keeping and growing existing clients. In fact, in a recent report by Bain & Co, it that stated “Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.”
Additionally, the Bain + Co report even stated, “…increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”
Here are some of my favorite and most commonly used client retention and loyalty building tips to help increase revenue and improve your bottom-line:
- Set client expectations: early and deliver faithfully on those expectations to build retention.
- Treat customers as assets, not transactions.
- Identify potential ‘at risk’ customers, clients and brands
- Just ask customers what they need
- Be the expert and proactively communicate with your clients about issues in their industry that will affect them.
- Build trust through relationships based on trust and shared values.
- Blog about issues that help your clients and signal your interest in their business.
- Implement a ‘Welcome Aboard’ program for all your new clients
- Implement anticipatory service: avoid negative client experiences by being proactive: stop problems from happening by checking in with your clients each quarter.
- Provide more cross-selling opportunities and sell additional services to your clients and brands
- Make use of automation: standardize your processes and set expectations for service levels to increase client loyalty.
- Build KPIs around client service: measure and incentivize your agency based on levels of service/performance tied to the client’s goals.
- Provide More Proactive Ideas
- Exceed expectations
- Build relationships online: your clients are online so build relationships with them while they are fixed to their computer screens via Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogging, etc.
- Go above and beyond what’s expected: look for opportunities to woo your clients to build long-term loyalty.
- Listen to your clients: implement client surveys, quarterly meetings/debriefs, etc.
- Educate the client or brand: Offer free trainings, webinars, video tutorials, and product demos – whatever it takes to make your clients feel comfortable and informed.
- Provide Timely Responses – Being responsive to your clients’ needs and concerns is a clear indicator of your company’s desire to meet and exceed their expectations.
Remember the best and most effective way to organically grow your business is to build loyalty with your existing clients and brands. Nothing is more important. And, the best way to do this is talk about results, be innovative, do your homework daily, go to ‘school’ on your competitors and leverage successes and relationships!
Consider Pareto’s Law when thinking about Loyalty and VIP Customers too. Pareto’s Law or Principle has consistently proved over decades that 80% of your revenue and results comes from 20% of your clients. That’s why customer retention should be a top priority for every agency and businesses in 2018.
According to the book Customer Winback: How to Recapture Lost Customers – AND Keep Them Loyal, you have a 20-40% chance of success to sell to a former customer. Where the chances of success to sell to a new potential customer are only 5-20%.
As an Agency guy, I also think the key to building and growing business is to consider paying staff who work on strategic long-term clients a bonus or commission for that longevity! This financial reward will also set the standard for the whole team to emulate!
Finally, here are two more points to consider:
- Gartner Group statistics tell us that 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.
- According to Marketing Metrics far easier to (about 50% easier) sell to existing customers than to brand new prospects.
In financial services, for example, a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit. Importantly, Return customers tend to buy more from a company over time. Additionally, loyalty generally improves client and staff retention too!
Conclusion – Every agency or business MUST take a proactive role in retaining their clients. AND, the most obvious way to ensure retention is to prevent them from leaving in the first place!
Building Customer Loyalty, retaining your customers and brands doesn’t come down to just being ‘likeable’ or having ‘talent’. It requires hard work, the right attitude, and the right customer retention strategies. I wish you continued success in 2018 and beyond.
More About Geoff De Weaver:
Since 1985, Geoff has helped pioneer the use of inbound/outbound marketing, content marketing strategies, leadership, digital, PR and social media marketing specifically for agency new business.
Geoff is one of the Advertising & Digital industry’s leading agency New Business Thought Leaders. His extensive cross-cultural expertise spans five continents, multiple languages and hundreds of companies.
Geoff can also access hard to reach brands and clients, fully examine and target your exact needs and requirements in all channels. I can even pitch on your behalf and happily be the extension to your company’s new business team.
Give me a call and let me show you a better way, +61 411 224 961 or send me an email: email@example.com
Global Brand Management & Operations, Digital Marketing, Marketing, Advertising, Sales, Training, New Business, Consulting, Management, Leadership Coaching, Team Building, Operations, and Ad Agency Growth.