Do you want to turn your agency's clients into raving fans? Would you like to retain more clients instead of just procuring more? Here's how to make your clients first 100 days noteworthy enough to turn them into advocates.
In today's episode, we'll cover:
- What is the 100-day problem?
- 8 phases of the client lifecycle and keeping them happy at every phrase.
- 3 quick tips to transform clients into raving fans.
Today I talked to Joey Coleman, a professional keynote speaker, consultant and author of "Never Lose a Customer Again". Joey has worked on client retention with brands such as Hyatt Hotels, Deloitte, and even Zappos. He is a master of retaining clients and transforming them into raving fans. And that's why here's here with advice on how to keep the clients you have while simultaneously transforming them into advocates for your agency.
What is the 100-Day Problem?
As a marketing agency, we pour tons of time and resources into customer acquisition. Whether it's social media, sales strategies, content curation, or even email marketing, we focus tons of effort on turning prospects into customers... but then what?
According to Joey, anywhere from 20 - 70% of customers (depending upon your industry) don't make it more than six months. And of those, nearly 90% won't make it past the first 100 days. All of that time and all of those resources, wasted. That's the 100-Day Problem and we all encounter it whether we realize it or not!
Fortunately, we have Joey giving us some critical advice on keeping clients and turning them into our biggest fans, with the ultimate reward of referrals.
8 Phases of the Client Lifecycle and Keeping Them Happy
Joey defined 8 key phases of the customer's life cycle, plus he gave us some fantastic tips on keeping customers happy at every phase. Check out his First 100 Day Starter Kit.
- Assess: This is the phase where customers are deciding if they want to do business with you. They're assessing your website, third-party reviews, and your marketing materials to determine if you're the right fit for their needs.
- Admit: Here, your customer is finally admitting your agency can help them solve their need and achieve success. They feel a sense of hope and possibility by deciding to work with you.
- Affirm: Despite the initial feeling of hope, the very next thing your client will do is start to second-guess their decision to work with you. While your team is celebrating a new client, the client is already having thoughts of buyer's remorse and wondering if they've made a mistake. The key to overcoming this is to communicate with them right away and AFFIRM they've made the right decision! Connect and make sure they know you're with them every step of the way. Often times we get busy working on the work, we end up going dark on client communication and that's when they start to get worried.
- Activate: This is the first significant interaction your customer has with your agency. If you have a product, this is the unboxing. If you have a service, this is the implementation of it. This is where your client digests your product or service and evaluate whether they'll continue the relationship. This is the first impression and you need to totally nail it so you can continue the relationship!
- Acclimate: This is the phase where you need to get your client familiar with your way of doing things. Joey thinks this is the stage where most agencies fall short. During this phase, the client will be learning your processes as well as potentially interacting with your team members and learning about additional offerings.
- Accomplish: This is the phase where you actually helped the client achieve their initial goal. The key is to make sure their initial expectations for the end result is met. Did you actually accomplish their goal, or did you just achieve what you thought was their goal? You must communicate regularly to identify their full set of goals and understand their definition of success, as well as what metrics will be utilized to measure success.
- Adopt: At this phase, your client is loyal and they've fully adopted your agency's philosophy and practices. They don't care about competition or price point because they believe in what you do and how you do it based on the outcomes you're producing for them.
- Advocacy: When clients are all in, you've reached the final (and best) stage. They are out there advocating for your agency because you have established trust. This is typically anytime after their 100-Day Anniversary. They are now more likely to share stories with their network and provide you with testimonials or case stories... Ask for them and use them!
3 Quick Tips to Turn Clients into Raving Fans
- Get personal right from the beginning. Start the relationship off by connecting on a personal level. People like to work with people! Therefore, something as simple as a quick personalized thank you video can even do the trick. (I do this all the time for anyone who buys any of my products or services. It's been a game changer!)
- Incorporate video into your contact points. Everyone wants to know there's a person behind every action. When you use video (versus email or worse, automation!) your true personality can shine through and your client will get to know you more authentically.
- Remember snail mail carries real influence. Don't forget the old-school inbox. As everyone moves to digital, the physical inbox is looking a little empty. Get noticed quickly way by cutting through the digital clutter. Old fashioned, handwritten thank you notes are more memorable and have more staying power than an email.
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