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We all love new prospects — but the success of most businesses depends on our loyal, ongoing clients. While it’s always nice to have prospects in the pipeline, keeping current clients happy is just as valuable, if not more so. Studies show that it costs much less to retain an old customer than to acquire a new one. In fact, increasing customer loyalty by as little as 2% can have the same effect as reducing costs by 10%!

An existing client is the best client, but retaining them can be tricky if you aren’t actively engaging them. Follow these tips to increase customer loyalty and retention while showing your current clients that you care.

  1. Upsell — As your client’s business continues to grow, chances are their needs will change over time. Rather than waiting for them to grow out of your solutions, use upselling to keep that client on board. Your customer will be glad to have a vendor that anticipates his or her needs, and you will benefit from a new sale and continued business.
  2. Stay in touch — Once you’ve gained a client’s business should you cut all communication? No! Treat an old customer the way you would treat a brand new one: Update them with news and events and inform them about new products or services that might interest them.
  3. Be responsive — We’ve all had to deal with unhappy clients at some point, and it’s never a pleasant experience. But being willing to listen to a client’s complaints or concerns, and working with them to find a solution, can save that client relationship and will likely strengthen that client relationship.
  4. Ask for a referral — This may sound counterintuitive; after all it sounds like the client is doing you a favor! But getting a customer to vouch for you will actually increase their loyalty as they verbalize all the great things your business has done for them. It also shows that you value that client’s opinion — and a little flattery never hurts.
  5. Say thanks — Remind your clients that you value their business. Whether you send them a card, host a customer appreciation event, or just send them a friendly, personalized email, a small sign of appreciation can make a big difference.

Your customers are your business’s lifeblood — and while new clients are always exciting, it’s important to remember and appreciate your existing clients too.