Building Client Loyalty: A Helpful Checklist
The ultimate goal in developing business is to create a mutually rewarding relationship with your clients. As you transform your working connection with a customer from one-off transactions with limited scope to that of ongoing trusted advisor and member of the client’s inner circle, both you and the client reap economic benefits, operational advantages and a rewarding sense of purpose. The client will always reach out to you for advice because you are knowledgeable, helpful, and available. Loyalty transcends pricing matters and logistics.
How does a professional services provider build loyalty? Below is a checklist you can review from time to time to keep you on track for developing and sustaining a strong relationship with valued clients.
- I have co-developed and documented service expectations and work plans with my client.
- I am knowledgeable about and stay up-to-date on my client’s industry, company, and business imperatives.
- I keep the client informed about case law, legislation, or technical issues impacting their business.
- I continually engage in knowledge transfer with my client by providing them with forward-thinking advice, current news, firm reports and white papers, relevant client alerts, educational seminars, and helpful checklists.
- I keep my client well-informed of the status of engagements or specific deliverables/projects and always follow-up on inquiries within 24 hours, unless I have communicated otherwise.
- I know the client is very satisfied with the services I am providing because we have periodic conversations to discuss progress and I appreciate feedback, both formal and informal.
- I anticipate needs and challenges and my client does not have to initiate conversations about problems or questions.
- I listen to my client and show an interest beyond the details of the engagement.
- I can validate that I have contributed to my client’s success.
- I am welcomed at my client’s place of business and people there know me and are happy to see me. I know most everyone’s first name and they know mine.
The above-list is also a good reminder of how to position yourself with new prospects. Often the beginning of a relationship will foretell your ability to become a preferred provider.
The author, Brenda Pontiff, founded Partner Track Academy after years of watching young lawyers and accountants panic over business development expectations. She also coaches professionals who have recently joined their firm’s partnership and helps them navigate new revenue and leadership demands. Follow her on Twitter @PartnerTrackA.