Business relationships can be delicate and intricate. That is true for SEO projects, which involve long-term and long-standing commitment to see results.
Challenges can compromise the campaign any minute, and the possibility of your client walking away from the deal is an ever-present threat. It will either sneak up on you out of nowhere or result from a slow and predictable decline in the quality of the relationship.
To avoid this situation, you need to understand the motivations behind client departure and be proactive about preventing these motivations from materializing.
Let’s look at some common factors that hurt client retention and ways to overcome them:
Lack of connectivity and communication can destroy your relationship with clients. The campaign may be performing well, and the results may be aligned with the expectations, but if you’re not able to communicate this well, you’re not getting customer satisfaction.
Ineffective communication can come in the form of inefficiency (when you use the wrong channels or leave out details), inconsistency (when you give updates at unpredictable intervals), and lack of proactivity (when you only resolve issues, not prevent them).
The most basic requirements of communication are efficient and consistent connectivity mediums. Whether you need to upgrade to the Zycoo IP system or revisit your calendar, you have to be as thorough and detailed as possible.
Failure to Meet Client Expectations
You will let your clients down in two ways: short-term errors, like delays in content publication or reporting, and something a little more large-scale, like failing to deliver the projected results of a year-long campaign.
Mini failures can pile up over time until the client reaches the breaking point, where they don’t trust you anymore. And we know that lost trust is hard to gain back.
One solution? Don’t overpromise. The better the expectations, the higher the satisfaction.
That is also where good communication comes in. When you’re trying to paint a picture to your client, include all the details. Let them know upfront the duration of the campaign and the reasonable and realistic results that await.
Promise them less than what you think you can accomplish. Doing so will leave lots of room to deliver more. Again, the better the expectation, the higher the satisfaction.
Doubt on Expertise
Other times, it all boils down to expertise or lack of it. If you ever make the mistake of coming off as lacking in tools, training, and knowledge, or simply unable to sustain real results, your client will have had one foot at the door.
What you can do is train up your people at any opportunity you can grab. Always keep your strategies and your tools updated, and stay informed of the industry’s best practices.
It’s true that some clients are naturally pre-dispositioned to leave, some are just a pain in the butt to work with, but most instances of relationship breakdowns are preventable. If they’re not preventable, you can still resolve them with the right attitude and approach.
Regardless, you must be on your toes to do whatever it takes to keep your clients happy, your employees on board, your agency making you money.