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If you’re like me, gaining new clients is one of your biggest challenges. I don’t have a sales team to go out and find new business, so the burden falls to me. And I’m often mired in my own work and don’t have time to focus on getting new business.

So rather than taking more time to constantly look for new customers, I put more energy into keeping existing customers happy.

1. Exceed Expectations

We’ve all been on the receiving end of underdelivered expectations. Maybe your roofer said he’d be done in a week and it took three. But what happens when you as a business owner do the opposite and overdeliver? For me, as a writer, that might mean turning in an assignment a day or two before the client expects it.

If you know what your business is capable of, add a little wiggle room in terms of expectations in case problems arise, and then try to beat deadlines or deliver more than you promised. You’ll surprise and delight your customers, I guarantee.

2. Make Sure Your Website Is Uber User-Friendly

Just because you’ve secured a customer once doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make it easy for them to return to your site for future orders, if you sell products online. Make sure you give your customers the ability to register for an account, where they can view all their information. They shouldn’t have to enter credit card information each time they make a purchase.

Keep your navigation simple, and don’t include anything that isn’t necessary. Your web copy should be simple enough to tell even a 7-year-old what you sell, and shouldn’t use highfalutin’ language.

3. Use CRM Smartly

If you have one or two clients, it’s easy enough to remember everything you need to about them. But as you start growing, that becomes a challenge, especially for solopreneurs.

Staying organized behind the scenes might not seem to tie directly to repeat sales, but it does. Using powerful customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you track important client data, keep notes on client conversations, and set tasks and reminders to follow up on leads.

4. Stay in Touch on Social Media

Don’t lose contact with your customer after the sale. If your customers are social savvy, you’ve got a great opportunity to connect with them through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn. Focus on providing value to your audience through relevant and useful content. And make sure you have a social media strategy, otherwise your efforts are useless.

Set up a stream in Hootsuite or whatever social media platform you use specifically for your clients’ updates. Retweet their content and talk to them one-on-one to build out relationships.

5. Spread Your Brand Around

The more places your brand is found online, the more people will recognize it. You can guest post on well-known industry blogs, advertise, put out press releases, and share social content. Be consistent with your logo or avatar so people will recognize you.

We’ve all heard the mantra about how it’s cheaper to keep your existing clients rather than get more. As you can see here, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep customers coming back.

 

About Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts for the software industry. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as CorpNet, Small Business Trends, Chamber of Commerce, and ScheduleBase. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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  • http://vastlysuperfluous.tumblr.com Alessandra Ceresa

    Susan – Absolutely great article. I think you really touch on every aspect that will make sure you reach out to all of your leads, and more than that, convert them. I think the most important number is #3. CRM is a critical aspect of not only making sure no leads are lost, but also in customer retention, managing customer satisfaction, and providing an overall superior customer experience. Integrated platforms really allow you to track your leads/customers every movement, allowing you to better reach out to them in both sales and marketing.

    Overall, great article, and I truly enjoyed reading it.

    • susanpayton

      Thanks so much for the compliment, Alessandra! Much appreciated.