How to keep clients happy

Whether you work for yourself or an agency, clients are the only reason you get paid, so clients need to be kept happy. They have to be satisfied with your services, so they don't go elsewhere or ruin your reputation.

So how do you keep clients happy? How do you ensure they stay with you and keep paying you more? The following top tips should help you keep them happy...

Make them feel important

Everyone likes to think they're important, so feed this raw need by making your clients feel like they're the only person in the world you care about. Make them feel like they're your number one priority. Give them the impression that you love working for them, and only them.

Show passion

Clients love their own business. They love it so much, they'll want to talk about it endlessly. Be just as passionate about your client's company and they'll love you for it. Be sincerely interested and behave as though it's your own firm.

There's no 'I' in team

When talking with your client, use language to reinforce your relationship like 'we' and 'us'. For example: "We should look at doing this for our next project" or "Wasn't it great when we achieved that?". Using language such as this will solidify your standing in your client's eyes and ensure you feel part of their own team.

Promises, promises

Don't make promises you can't keep. Be honest with your client and manage their expectations. If you're realistic and pragmatic, your client will see that you're trustworthy. And when you do achieve more than they expect, you'll only exceed their expectations.

Communicate

Staying in touch with clients is essential if you want to keep them happy. Call them, email them and attend regular meetings. Keep them informed of what's going on and they'll be satisfied that you're 'on the ball' and prioritising their business. If any problems arise, don't stick your head in the sand – pick up the phone and offer solutions wherever possible. As long as you communicate, your client will stay happy.

Listen

Listen to what your clients have to say and don't be afraid to seek clarification if there's something you're not sure about. By listening carefully, you'll avoid any misunderstandings and be able to provide the right solutions.

Be prompt

If a client calls or emails, asking for help – be quick to respond. Don't leave things hanging. Be prompt and respond to their needs as quickly as possible. Even if you're in the middle of something else, drop everything and do what you can to keep them happy.

Keep a log of activity

When you first start working for a new client, make a note of where they stand before you do anything for them. Then, in future, you can show your client how you've made a difference by comparing statistics. For example, if you're a web designer and your client has hired you to overhaul their website, take note of their analytics before you launch their new site. Hard evidence is crucial to show clients why they made the right choice in hiring you.

Show them your achievements

Whenever you achieve something for your client, tell them about it! Whenever you reach a milestone, shout about it! Clients love to see results and also need to be constantly reminded about why they hired you in the first place.

Be loyal

Always be loyal to your clients. What do I mean by this? If a direct competitor of your client approaches you and asks for your services, be loyal and tell your existing client about it. Seek their permission to go ahead and respect their wishes. Showing loyalty like this will win you lots of brownie points. And if they'd rather you didn't? At least they know that you're in demand.

Think of your client

If you really care about your client then always think about them and how you can help their business. That's whether you actually help them to win more clients or send them useful things, like newspaper articles relevant to their industry or opportunities to network. Going above and beyond the call of duty is something that clients will never forget.

Thank your client

Remember to thank your client whenever possible. Send cards, gifts or 'thank you' notes. These are small gestures but hugely effective at cementing client relationships.