When you operate a digital agency, every client counts. You might know how valuable your services are, but selling a digital marketing package is harder than selling, say, a pair of shoes. Each sale probably consumes a significant amount of your time.

You are not alone. Kissmetrics finds that it is seven times less expensive to retain a customer than to acquire a new one.

Even if you are not necessarily looking to grow your client base, you will inevitably lose clients over time and need to look for new ones. And a lot of those new clients probably come from recommendations from your current ones.

When it comes to the nitty-gritty of your business, client retention is one of the factors that usually defines your success.

So how do you hang onto those hard-earned clients and make sure they bring you new customers? Make them fall in love with your business.

Here are a few ways to improve your customer retention so you can spend less time scouting and more time serving your loyal clients.

1. Set expectations for the client-agency relationship from the start.

You probably have a certain way you like to do things around your office. You can bet your client does, too.

Make sure you get off on the right foot by transparently explaining your work process to your client, so they know what to expect.

Set deadlines that you can reach and make it clear when you might need input from your client. Setting clear expectations and goals will help you show your client your results, as well as eliminate any doubts they might have about your services.

2. Anticipate problems and solve them early.

If you work at a digital agency, a lot of your time is probably spent on customer service as you chat with clients about their needs and problems. However, customer retention comes from wowing your clients, not just from completing tasks to their expectations.

Provide clients with the highest level of attention by calling them to check in before you hear about a problem. Not only does this help keep lines of communication open, but your proactiveness will likely impress your client and encourage them to recommend you to others.

3. Connect with your client personally.

Although you don’t work directly for your client’s company, it can be helpful to see yourself as working on the same team. It is much easier to work together – and provide excellent service – when you and your client know each other well. After all, everyone prefers personalized service, so take time to build a relationship with each of your clients.

This time investment will help you better match their voice, achieve their goals, and understand their problems so they know you care about making their business succeed.

When you can provide personalized services for your client, you are much harder to replace. In other words, they are unlikely to dump you for another agency if an offer comes along.

Final Tip: Not every client is right for your agency.

You won’t be able to make everyone happy, even if you deliver the highest-quality service. However, one of the best ways to keep your churn rates low is to be selective about who you take on as a client.

In a competitive market for digital services, you have to differentiate your services to stand out. It can be tempting to take on a client that falls outside of your expertise, especially if times are slow, but in the long term, losing an unhappy client could be more costly than taking them on in the first place.

Analyze your previous canceled clients for trends and focus on the clients that worked so you don’t waste your time and money acquiring clients that aren’t right for you.

The process of selling digital services and onboarding new clients can be time-consuming and costly, but the sale doesn’t end there. You need to continually check the temperature of your client base to make sure you are providing them with the services they need.

Remember: keeping a client is much simpler than finding a new one, so make sure they know they are valued.

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