Now that we have talked about all of the more expensive marketing options for your business, let’s look at the ones that can be low cost or FREE!
Retaining your current clients and getting them to refer new clients to you can be extremely cost-effective!
How do you do this? Here are a few ideas!
- Focus on your client experience. Make sure that every person in your office is on-board with your vision for the perfect client experience. Clients remember 100% how you make them feel even if they only retain 20% of what you say during their visit. If they walk out feeling less than stellar or if they call and have a bad experience over the phone, you may never see them again. They should always feel valued by your business.
- Show your appreciation by offering a loyalty program (think punch cards at restaurants), coupons, holiday or birthday-specific offers etc. Thank them verbally, but thank them in other ways too!
- Ask for Feedback. Let your clients know that you would like them to review you on Facebook or Google or Yelp. Or, set up a customer feedback email as part of your email marketing. Then actually look at these reviews and take them into consideration!
- Communicate regularly! Have a good system in place for reaching out to clients who have not been in recently. Use a variety of methods including phone, text messaging, email, or sending a card or letter directly to their home.
- Highlight Clients on your social media or email marketing (with their permission, of course!). Success stories can be excellent for potential new clients to see or you can do giveaways and contests in your office, where you highlight winners on your social media. You need to make sure the client sign a media release / photography release / consent form to make sure they know they will be featured and where and that they comply with having that information posted.
Now that you have set up a great client experience, how do you get them to refer their friends and family?
- Make sure their experience is exceptional! This continues to be reiterated because it is the key to retaining clients and getting them to refer. Clients will tell a lot of people about a bad experience! So make sure you don’t give them any reason to talk about that. Make sure they have nothing but good things to say!
- Ask them for referrals! Some people feel like referrals shouldn’t be asked for, but they absolutely should be especially when you know a client has had a great experience! Get referral cards, if it is legal in your state or country, offer an incentive for the client based on the number of referrals they bring in!
- Use social media tactics that encourage followers to like, comment on, and/or share your posts!