In any business setting, the veterinary industry included, there are two types of customers: those that you already have, and those that you’re trying to obtain. Businesses of all types tend to put a lot of hours, effort, money, and manpower into the latter. Acquiring new clients builds your consumer base, generates revenue initially, and, in a broader sense, grows your business as a whole. Sales teams are king—without a team selling your product to potential consumers, your business doesn’t stand a chance.
This is all well and good, but it’s imperative that business owners don’t forget about the other type of customer: that which you already have, those that are loyally buying your product or using your service. In recent years, the true importance of client retention has come to the forefront of the business world. According to some, retaining the clients that you already have is in many ways more important than acquiring new ones. At the very least, we should consider client retention and new-client acquisition on par with each other.
Make no mistake: your competitors aren’t sleeping. They’re out there vying for your customers every day, and many might have excellent offers that tempt even the most loyal of your clientele. Your practice’s efforts at retention are the only thing keeping those customers from choosing another provider.
What are the other benefits of implementing and maintaining client retention programs, aside from preventing your current clients from jumping ship? For one, it keeps revenue flowing in the long-term. According to recent studies, nearly 80% of your business’s future revenue will come from 20% of your existing customers. In other words, it will be just a small portion of your current clientele that makes up the majority of your business as a whole! Retaining loyal clients is actually a revenue-generating scheme, and it’s equally viable as bringing in new clients altogether.
There’s more to it than just the raw data. Remember to consider the human aspect; think of your customers as the people that they are, not just a number. Customers appreciate—and demand—personalized, client-centered approaches when it comes to retaining their business; when your practice reaches out to them, they know that you’re still there, still thinking of them first and foremost, and still available to meet their needs. That’s more than can be said for your competitors, who are simply trying to acquire additional business for themselves. Remember, also, that different customers may prefer different approaches. Some of your clients want to feel a personal connection with you as a business; others simply want the bottom-line numbers to feel comfortable; still others simply want to avoid hassle and are less focused on the cost. It’s important to structure your client-retention approaches accordingly.
It’s not just the Amazons, Googles, and Apples of the world that can afford to spend time and money on client retention and client-retention analysis. Your business can also afford and benefit from this important aspect of customer care. The trick is implementing and maintaining proper retention programs in order to keep your customer base interested, engaged, and ultimately profitable.