Lack of repeat business can be frustrating. You think you’ve done well by a client, but then you never hear from them again. Beyond being frustrating, it’s also a costly problem. After all, the likelihood of selling to a new customer is 5% to 20%, while selling to an existing client is 60% to 70% likely. Onboarding a new client takes considerably more effort too.
At Moonlighting, we believe the solution is to figure out what you are or are not doing right to retain your clients. The following ten items are some of the most common reasons that freelancers aren’t getting repeat business.
1. Not Nurturing Existing Client Relationships
“If you know one, speak to a hair stylist about customer retention. The good ones know all about it. Most people won’t change grocery stores to follow their favorite cashier, nor will they follow their server to a new restaurant. However, many of them do follow their stylist from salon to salon. Why? Because good hair stylists nurture their relationships. They get to know their clients’ interests, they know exactly what they want and how the service should be delivered — with a friendly chit-chat in tow or not. Pay attention to the details, and create an experience your client wouldn’t want to exchange for any other one.” — Nathan Yeung, CEO of Find Your Audience Online.
2. Letting Them Forget About You
“Do you send out a regular newsletter or bulletin to your clients? Have you ever forwarded an article to a client for whom you thought it might be relevant? If you aren’t in regular contact, they may simply forget about you. This is especially true if the work you do is seasonal in nature.” — Kyle Nguyen, CEO of Freegames66 Portal.
3. Being Too ‘Legalistic’ About Revision Requests
“You open up an email from a client. Two sentences in and you cringe. They want revisions. That’s like working for free and nobody wants that. You immediately begin thinking of ways to get out of complying. Maybe there’s something in your contract that gives you an out. Reconsider this. According to Desk.com, 9 out of 10 customers are comfortable paying more for a good customer experience and up to 70% will keep doing business with you if you successfully resolve their complaint. While you don’t want clients to abuse you with lengthy revisions that go way beyond scope, you can build goodwill by making a few small changes even when you aren’t obligated to do so.” — Anthony Gokianluy, Co-Founder at GoFurther Careers.
4. Never Down selling
“Upselling can earn you a bit more money. On the other hand, your client may feel as though they were hit with high-pressure sales tactics, breeding a bit of resentment. Consider down selling every once in a while, instead. How does this work? It’s simple. If you recognize a way to help your client that is less expensive or takes less time, give them that option. They will remember your honesty and your effort to help them save money.” — Zaid Ammari, CEO of PPC Masterminds.
5. Falling Back With Quality And Deadlines
“If you’ve always over delivered in terms of quality and deadlines, even slipping back slightly can be disappointing to your clients. If you work in a competitive field, you’re also leaving room for someone else to come along and do just a bit better than you. Always hold your self to the highest standards when it comes to basics such as on time delivery and product quality. According to the latest Accenture study, a mere 1% increase in CX quality can stand for $10 M to $100 M for an individual brand. For freelancers, the numbers may be more modest, yet still tangible.” — Adam Guy, CEO of National Debt Relief.
6. Failing to Make Their Life Easy
“Some freelancers take the concept of being independent professionals too far and just want to do their work and not be preoccupied with the legal aspects of projects like signing an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), having written contractual terms and sending standard invoices. That’s definitely a mistake. This is even more so when a client demands them. I’ve seen a freelancer who thinks preparing and sending over an invoice is too much hassle; they just want to get paid after they deliver a project or even before they start working like it’s some charity we’re talking about. I wouldn’t hire them again.” — Nick Oberheiden, lead attorney at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP.
If you recognize yourself in the 6 items above, it’s time to make some changes. By doing so, you’ll reap all the rewards that come with repeat business. Are you ready to turn your passion into a successful business? Join the amazing community of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and gig workers changing how America works and sign up for Moonlighting today!
This article was originally featured in the USA Today.