Client Retention: 6 Strategies to Help Your Agency Grow in the Post-pandemic World
The pandemic has devastated businesses, and client retention has emerged as the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs post-COVID-19. Clients are leaving businesses for multiple reasons, but some major factors behind the declining demand are fast-draining resources and recession-prone market conditions hitting revenues hard.
In these tough times, agencies should proactively try to retain as many clients as possible because that is much easier and more cost-effective than acquiring new clients. This article will discuss some crucial client retention strategies.
6 Strategies to Help Your Agency Grow in the Post-pandemic World
Agencies can use the following six techniques for client retention during tough times.
1. Use of Social Media
According to a study by loyalty 360, more than 27% of businesses admitted that social media marketing is the most effective channel for customer retention in the pandemic-hit market.
Customer loyalty is directly linked with retention, and boosting customer engagement can be the most favorable strategy to ensure long-term business. Since we spend more time online in the post-pandemic world, social media is the strongest channel to boost customer loyalty and engagement.
Social media gives you the best opportunities to interact with your clients and engage with them. Instead of a single-minded sales approach, try to discuss the problems and challenges they are confronting, and they would be more than willing to join the conversation. It will boost your brand image as a sincere partner concerned with the well-being of its customers rather than simply a business hardballing their products.
Here are a few techniques to boost customer retention through social media:
A. Use Effective Social Media Listening and Monitoring Tools
You can use social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite, Google Alerts, Sprout Social, or AgoraPulse to help you with client retention.
Social media listening tools allow you to keep a tab on customer conversations about your brand anywhere on the web. They will provide instant notifications if a customer mentions your brand or uses key phrases.
So, these tools offer crucial insights about your customers and opportunities to participate in hot conversations.
B. Use Relevant Hashtags and a Consistent Username
Make your brand accessible to your customers across different social channels. You can use relevant hashtags and an easy-to-remember username for that.
C. Publish Platform-Specific Content
Learn about customer psychology and share platform-specific content to engage your customers. Some brands use social media publishing tools to replicate similar content everywhere, but that is not a good practice. The content that succeeds on Twitter greatly varies from the content you should post on Facebook on Instagram. So, keep that in mind while curating branded social media content.
D. Hire a Dedicated Executive/Team for Social Media
A dedicated social media team is necessary to ensure timely responses to queries and complaints. Be attentive and highly responsive to customer feedback on social media. It boosts customer loyalty more than any other tactic. Try to minimize your customers’ pain points and be reactive to their struggles with your products/services to earn their unmitigated loyalty.
E. Make Heavy Use of Social Media Advertising
Social media ads are highly visible, and consistent advertising increases your visibility on social channels. You can use these ads to promote your products, create awareness, and educate your customers. Social media advertising, for this reason, is well-known as a precursor to online action.
F. Use Social Media Metrics
Use popular social media metrics to get deeper insights about your customers for better engagement.
G. Use Referral Programs
Leverage social media’s powerful reach by running referral programs. Let your audience share your products on social media to amplify your brand’s reach. It will not only boost your sales but also enhance customer retention. Don’t forget to reward your customers for their referrals.
2. Improve Your Brand Perception
According to a Science Direct study, “The hospitality industry’s strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic & customer retention,” the brand image of a hotel chain plays a big role in the hotel selection process in the post-pandemic world.
As described earlier, focusing on existing customers and retention are vital to succeed in the current market scenario. Hotels are counting on increasing revisits by existing customers as it’s crucial to survive in today’s highly competitive market.
Several revisits are directly influenced by brand perception, and brand image is a function of customer experience. So, if an agency wants to retain its existing clients, it should focus on its customer experience and brand image.
For example, to boost their brand image, hotels are taking many preventive measures, such as contactless services, QR-code-based entry logs, regular disinfections, and mandatory enforcement of mask mandates for the staff.
3. Offer Innovative Products
According to a study compiled by Sprout Social, a social media management platform, Alpha | BRAVO, a social agency, revamped their social media strategy in 2020 in the wake of the increasing challenges their clients face.
Since small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) were the hardest hit in 2020, struggling with slashed sales volumes and dented marketing budgets. Clients were getting impatient to see the results, but delivering results wasn’t a cakewalk for the agencies those days.
But economic downturns always carry a seed of enormous growth. So, Sprout Social launched a new program that enables small and medium-sized companies to take control of their social media campaigns. The program was christened “aB Op.ti.mate,” which gave the clients full access to Sprout Social dashboard.
As a result, clients could upload images, create and schedule posts, and monitor reviews and mentions, whereas Sprout Social provided all the strategic & consulting services. SMBs also got access to Sprout Social’s creative team comprising writers, designers, and social media strategists for their needs.
Op.ti.mate program witnessed immense success and helped the social platform add new clients and retain existing ones at the peak of an economic meltdown caused by the pandemic.
4. Offer the Right Support With the Right Technology
DashClicks, a white label digital marketing service based in Florida, Miami, launched DashClicks 2.0 in 2021. It’s a digital marketing platform aimed toward agencies.
DashClicks 2.0 is a white label platform that allows heavy automation through different applications. It has apps to generate performance reports, build bulk websites, perform analytics, manage projects, create forms to generate leads on the website, and much more. Besides that, DashClicks also launched its fulfillment services for the agencies that did not have sufficient staff or expertise to accept new digital marketing projects. DashClicks 2.0 became an instant hit in the market, and the white-label company saw huge growth in six months.
5. Deepen Your Relationship With Clients
Businesses are deeply hurt in the post-pandemic world, and many are vulnerable because of weak demand and poor marketing strategies. In such a scenario, you should deepen your relationship with your clients and look for their special needs to survive. Agencies should leave their comfort zone and provide the right support and assistance to their distressed clients. This practice alone can make you a winner while implementing client retention strategies. If your clients struggle with the strategy, you can immediately arrange a meeting and ask your experts to help them formulate a new strategy.
6. Be Flexible
Try to find out your clients’ issues and alleviate their burden, even if it means going beyond your contract terms. You can decrease your fees or provide value-added services if needed to help your client survive. Being flexible will fetch you unmatched rewards in terms of client retention. Strictly following your contract terms may lead to a huge churn. Consider providing specialized training, webinars, or consultancy contracts to help them survive in the new market conditions.
Client retention is a much more powerful and cost-effective way to survive as an agency than adding new clients to your portfolio. It became even more prominent in the post-pandemic world. Everybody talks about customer-centric businesses, but very few companies go out of their way to help their customers and build long-term relationships.
So, the big question looms here: How to improve client retention? The best way of client retention is to focus on your customer’s needs and problems. The competition is heating up, but it’s never too late.