You are a freelance web designer, and you have just finished off developing a brand new website for your client. But hold it – that doesn’t mean that it is the end of that relationship. Who knows – about their future, you may have to work together again? Maybe maintenance repairs, or even a redesign offer, you never know, right?
But to do that, you will have to build and maintain a solid relationship with the client. Now, that’s not a guarantee, but just imagine for a moment – all of your clients are repeat customers, and instead of dealing with new clients, you can focus your attention on your old clients. How great that will be?
As a freelance web designer, you should always try to build a strong long term relationship with your existing clients.
Of course, all clients indeed are the same. Each has their own set of likes, dislikes and no one client is similar to the other on how they would like to approach their business. Even then, it is quite safe to assume that when it comes to building a relationship with your clients, some commonalities do tend to be seen.
Here, then, are a few of the tactics that you can and should use to boost your client retention rate.
Always be direct and honest
One of the universal ways to gain trust and respect is by telling the truth. Just steer clear of lying – it will only harm the relationship.
Honesty is always the best policy, but it also pays to be clear and concise. This particularly comes in handy when you are discussing technical issues and you will only thank yourselves when you will run into clients who don’t understand all those technical jargon.
In such cases, it is suggested that you as a web designer, should be as clear as possible to communicate the final result with the client. If they want to know more, you can always elaborate on it further. It’s much better than to deal with angry clients when they come to you with a broken and insecure site later on.
Try to put all of the required information together and you will notice that your client will appreciate your honest approach along with your ability to communicate effectively.
Following up with your work
All of us have a schedule to follow, and often, we land up with a project which pretty much takes higher priority.
But that doesn’t mean that we should ignore all of the other projects or worse, push them aside. In such cases, a little communication goes a long way. How about letting your client know that your schedule is jam-packed and hence, their project might be a bit delayed. It’s much better than failing to respond to the client about their delayed project at all.
That being said, it is quite important on your part to go through with what you have promised – this simply shows that even though you are a bit late, you can still be counted on to get the job done. Doing so will make you an asset in your client’s eyes.
Acting as a resource
During your stint as a freelance web designer, more often than not, you are going to work for some clients with which you will have a very sporadic relationship. You probably won’t be hearing much from them – but that doesn’t mean that you are going to do the same.
It is recommended that you should stay in touch with them, even when there is a lull in work, and yes, there are a few easy ways to do it.
Through direct contact
Want to build a personal rapport with your client? Then be in direct communication with them. Try reaching out to your clients once or twice a year – either by phone or email – just to see how things are progressing. Ask them whether they are okay with their site or are they looking for any changes to be made.
Often, a client will have few-to-do things related to their website but sometimes, they get pushed back for reasons. You, reaching out to them will get the ball rolling. You can even offer a few suggestions here and there. There are bound to be some clients whose older sites may need revamping. You, as a web designer, can have a look at their analytics and offer them suggestions on how it can be used to serve them better.
Through blogs and newsletters
Though it may seem less personal, sending out blog posts and newsletters to your existing clients is another way of staying in touch with them. First of all, doing so will keep your name fresh in their minds. Secondly, it’s a golden opportunity to inform them about any new services that you are offering or any other things that you want the client to know.
Perhaps, the best part is that you don’t have to do this every single day. Getting to your clients twice or thrice a year is enough. Moreover, you don’t have to go in lengthy details – just a few lines will do. You will be surprised at how much feedback you will get.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that you can even add in your social media handles.
How about hosting a webinar for your clients? It is a sure-fire way of getting the best of both worlds. On one hand, you will get to make a personal connection with the client while on the other hand, you can drop a bit of knowledge on issues that matter to them.
It is recommended that you should focus on subjects like email marketing, reading usage statistics and so on. Studies have shown that subjects like these always tend to go towards the popular side. Regardless, the interaction is bound to be beneficial for everyone involved.
In the end, it is all about doing the right thing and showing that you are here for your clients even after your project has long been done and over with. Keeping your clients back for your services is the best that you can do for your business. Repeat customers are much easy to handle, or in other words, ‘they know the drill’, so to speak.
When you have worked with a client beforehand, you get to know that client and how to manage them and their projects in the best way, and as such, you will be able to deliver the best results and not to mention – a higher profit margin.
Be honest, trustworthy and a source of information – you will be able to leave a lasting impression on your client.