BUSINESSGuest Post

How To Build and Maintain a Client Base

How To Build and Maintain a Client Base

Recruiters, like a lot of businesses, survive on repeat customers. The principles we used to solidify our client base are universal. You may even recognize some of them in your own organization.

The first question is what type of client base do we want? It can be gratifying to have a huge number of customers – but if most of them are here for a quick deal, they will disappear tomorrow. To avoid this, we need to understand the fundamentals.

Customer acquisition is expensive. Gaining the right type of customer (i.e. a loyal / repeat customer) is worth it. The goal is creating an ethos in the organization that prioritizes acquiring the right customer. So here we go.

Customer acquisition is financially draining

How much more expensive is it than just keeping a previous customer?

The answer is 5 to 25 times more – according to Bain & Company; an American wealth management firm worth over $5bn.

This won’t surprise you if you’ve been anywhere near Google or Facebook ads. It’s very easy to increase your marketing budget as you chase impressions.

The result is an increased churn rate, as you try and pull everyone in your target demographic into being a first-time buyer. Churn is the proportion of people who stop doing business with you, over time.

Customer loyalty

It’s not just that gaining new clients is expensive. Return customers are more likely to give good reviews, and refer family and friends to your company. Long-term loyal customers are more likely to pay a premium to avoid the hassle of switching providers.

How do we focus on customer retention and inspire loyalty?

Selectivity

At HireIQ, our focus is on the right clients to recruit for financial and technology jobs. Selectivity has had long-term benefits that out-weigh the instant gratification of a huge client list.

If you are an online merchant constantly using deals to try and build volume, consider this. You might be hoping to build brand awareness by cutting into your profits. What type of brand are you trying to build? As more people check price trackers e.g. on Amazon, there will be a core of people who believe your product is cheaper to make, store, buy or distribute than is really the case.

By being selective, about products, employees and customers – you can build a brand that is less vulnerable to the ebb and flow of online traffic. You might ask, how can we be selective about customers? We’ve found higher prices significantly alter the clientele.

People are willing to spend more to deal with a company with strong values and where existing customers are priorities.

Change your marketing habits

Stop chasing the most amount of customers and instead focus on the campaign yielding the most amount of loyal customers (repeat customers). Considering how much more expensive it is to gain clients than keep them, this tip is the natural next step. It requires being systematic with your marketing campaigns and knowing your customers, so you can know who is loyal and who isn’t.

Help underperformers

Whether this is an underperforming product, salesman, manager or recruiter – it is vitally important you find where standards are slipping. Using annual report cards or customer feedback to determine this – then identify a way to improve. Staff improvement is its own article, but briefly, we found the following steps useful:

Greater contact between underperforming junior recruiters and more experienced staff
Focus on weak areas. If they’re not selling, why are they not selling?
A probationary period for consistent underperformers. Our company is expected to perform at the highest level

Commission

We’re firm believers in commission but not in the traditional sense. Reward your sales teams for targeting and acquiring loyal customers. Consider how much gets spent on marketing and emphasize to the sales staff the need for intelligent decisions. Commission can and should be linked to long-term benefits.

This is a guest post from HireIQ. HireIQ recruits for Professional jobs in Finance and Technology, in Northern Ireland. They have over 20 years experience hiring top talent on behalf of Northern Ireland businesses. A lot of team members pooled their experience in writing this, which was summarized and submitted by Briain Doohan, digital marketer.

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