Attracting a new customer costs five times as much as retaining an existing one, according to data from Lee Resources International Inc., making it easy to see why you should focus less on obtaining new customers and more on maximizing the value of your current ones. Here’s how.
- Upsell and cross-sell. Your existing clients already purchase your staffing firm’s talent, so you don’t need to sell them on its merit. As a result, they present a great opportunity to sell more of your talent. Talk about the benefits your temporary employees bring and how more of the same can help them profit. In addition, if your clients open a new branch or division, or expand into a new industry, they’ll need more employees, and you can easily step in to provide them.
- Focus on retention. Keep clients engaged with regular communication, including phone calls, emails, direct mail and a monthly newsletter. Also consider a loyalty program that provides incentives, such as discounts, when clients give your staffing firm a certain amount of business or utilize you for a certain number of years. Respond to client concerns promptly and let them know what you did to address the issues.
- Create a referral process. Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get. Consider implementing a formal process that provides discounts to clients who refer a potential customer, to be paid once the customer is on board for a certain amount of time. These referrals are extremely beneficial, as they often include similar businesses to those you already service and are easy to onboard, as your client’s introduction serves as a testament to your expertise.
- Brainstorm new ways to serve existing customers. Direct your capital toward new services that benefit your most valuable clients. Do you service a few valuable administrative clients? Consider virtual staffing, which provides virtual assistants to handle tasks such as scheduling, research, email management, data entry and more. The better the service you provide, the longer your clients will stay with you and the more they’ll rely on your firm for their needs.
- Ask for feedback. Create an evaluation process in which clients can submit comments or ideas. This can include a form on your website, a periodic email questionnaire or a personal phone call. Ask both what you are doing well and what you can improve upon. Their insight can help you better serve both them and potential new clients.