4 Ways to Wow Your Clients And Make Them Addicted To Your Services
Getting a return client can seem somewhat like finding the Fountain of Youth for most freelancers. Every freelancer wants to have them, but most freelancers have trouble getting them.
Freelance web design clients are particularly fickle. Once you’ve finished your web design work, many clients see no further need for your services. If you don’t do anything about it, they promptly forget you. When it comes time to hire a web designer again, they’ll probably use someone else.
Fortunately, It doesn’t have to be this way. You can take some steps to improve your chances of getting repeat business.
In this post, I’ll share four steps that will keep your name in front of your clients and help them to remember you for their next web design project.
If you liked this post, you may also like 6 Very Effective Principles to Improve Your Customer Service & Make Your Clients Happy.
Step 1: Do the Project Right the First Time
You won’t get repeat business if you didn’t have a happy client the first time around. No one wants to willingly repeat a bad experience.
So, if you want to get repeat business (and who doesn’t?), be extra with your web design projects. Make sure that you:
- Listen carefully to what the client wants.
- Get a clearly defined scope.
- Use a written agreement.
- Deliver the project on time or (better yet) early.
When it comes to repeat business, things like reliability and quality of work count. A lot.
Also, make sure that you make the client’s experience working with you as pleasant as possible. Show them the utmost respect and courtesy.
Step 2: Do the Little Extras
One way to really impress a client is to include little extras with their web design project.
No, I’m not suggesting that you give away major ticket items for free. But if you know of something that will really help the client and won’t take a lot of your time, why not add it in? Be sure to tell the client about it and explain how they will benefit.
Maybe you know of some plugins that will make their life easier. Maybe you could you could make the site just a little more SEO friendly than what they asked for (without fundamentally changing the concept of the website). Or, maybe you could point them in the direction of a blogger so they can get their blog up and going.
Often clients don’t know enough about web design to ask for these perks specifically, but including them with your services makes your web design service look better than your competitor’s service.
Step 3: Check In With Your Clients Regularly
This step sounds obvious, but it’s easier said than done.
Most freelancers start off intending to stay in touch with their clients, but after a few months their efforts taper off. After a year, the former client is just a memory.
While you don’t want to pester a former client (daily emails are a “no,” unless they’ve voluntarily subscribed to your newsletter), you don’t want to waste the relationship either. Here are some tips to help you stay in touch:
- Find and friend your clients on social media. Social media interactions are a great way to keep your name in front of the client.
- Recognize special occasions. Many social media packages track special occasions. Facebook is known for birthday reminders. LinkedIn lists promotions and other career changes.
- Subscribe to and read their blog. Leave an occasional comment on posts that interest you.
- Pay attention. Your client may ask a question through social media or post about a need on their blog. Be ready to provide assistance.
What you want to develop is a long-term professional relationship. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately get repeat business.
Step 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Business
Even with a healthy long-term relationship, there’s no guarantee that a former client will return to you with their future business.
They may have forgotten how the two of you met (your former provider/client relationship). They may assume that you’re too busy to do anything more for them. Or, there may be other reasons that they overlook you.
One way to generate repeat business is to ask for it. Simply contact your client and let them know that you are available and willing to meet their future needs.
The right frequency for doing this seems to be about once a quarter (every three months). If you do it more often, you may come across as being too desperate. If you wait longer, you may miss opportunities.
If you send an email, remember to highlight the benefits to the client. Make your communication personal and relevant to each client.
Here’s a sample email you could send:
Dear [Former Client],
Congratulations on your recent business expansion. I noticed on your blog that you merged with [XYZ company]. Best wishes on this new business venture.
By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed working on your web design last fall. I’d love the opportunity to work with you again.
Right now, I’m putting together my freelance schedule for the summer. If you have any upcoming projects, I’d be happy to include them in my schedule.
Based on past experience I know the summer schedule will fill up fast, but if you can get back to me by [Date], I’ll be sure to include your project.
If you don’t have anything right now, that’s fine too. Just give me a call when you have something you need done.
[Your Web Designer]
Naturally, you would customize this email for your own situation. Whatever you do, don’t send a form email to all of your former clients–they’ll probably able to tell and that will make you look bad. Don’t send the same email each time you ask for more work either.
Your Take Away
Asking for business and generally staying in touch will set you apart from the vast majority of freelancers, who will do nothing at all to reach their former clients.
In fact, if pay enough attention to your clients, they won’t be able to find that level of service from any other web designer. They’ll come back to use your services over and over again–almost like they’re addicted to your services (in a good way, of course).
How do you encourage repeat business? Share your tips in the comments.