I am sure you have heard the saying “If we don’t take care of our customers someone else will!”  Research shows that the majority (c.70%) leave their supplier because they are unhappy with the service they receive and actually it is less than 10% who proactively decide to go out and source the same service from a competitor.  With that in mind therefore surely it is sensible to take a more strategic approach to client retention.

Setting early expectations eliminates the uncertainty of under delivering and it allows you to build in measures of success.  This will allow your client to build up loyalty with you and your company and result in you becoming their trusted advisor.  No matter what industry you occupy, if you can be the expert in your particular field, you will likely retain more customers.  Client feedback surveys carried out in isolation as opposed to comparing with a wide range of clients are invaluable for learning how your service is performing in relation to expectations and the metrics you have set.  This intelligence provides you with areas of risk, improvement not to mention confirming capability and expertise.

In the same way that losing a client can have a detrimental effect on your bottom line the same is equally true for an employee. Research shows that this can cost up to 213% of annual salary to replace!  Ok that’s at CX level but for midrange positions you can expect it to cost you 20% of annual salary to replace that individual which, coupled with the negative impact on employee morale and productivity, sets the alarm bells ringing. 

Defining your expectations of the role aligned to measures of success is equally important for an employee as they are a client.  Understanding why your leavers have left can inform your strategy to retain key hires.  Attrition can be reduced by setting and reviewing a clear suite of objectives which not only drive performance but facilitate development. This builds loyalty between the employee and their manager meanwhile productivity and the value the individual brings to the organisation increases. 

Be it client or employee, taking a more strategic approach to retention will undoubtedly enhance your bottom line and have a positive impact on building strong business relationships. 

By Emma Collins, Client Relationship Director.