Client retention and referrals takes a back seat to the bright and shiny new client.
We all know repeat business is the low hanging fruit of sales.
In fact, the National Law Review reports it can cost up to 5x more to acquire new customers than to keep current ones.
But customer retention isn’t sexy to many business leaders because it requires maintaining relationships.
And relationship management takes a level of commitment some aren’t accustomed to.
Besides the financial benefits of client retention, there’s also an intrinsic value you should consider.
As social isolation is a growing public health issue, client retention efforts can reduce the effects of loneliness.
I know it seems borderline ridiculous to consider loneliness a threat to public health, but according a Harvard Business Review article titled Work and the Loneliness Epidemic, Vivek Murthy states “Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity. It’s also associated with cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, and anxiety.”
What’s alarming are the millions of people who are suffering from social isolation.
In the Daily Science News, an article titled Social Isolation, Loneliness could be greater threat to public health than obesity,
“An estimated 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States are suffering from chronic loneliness, according to AARP’s Loneliness Study. In addition, the most recent U.S. census data shows more than a quarter of the population lives alone, more than half of the population is unmarried and, since the previous census, marriage rates and the number of children per household have declined.”
With the number of people suffering from loneliness in the millions, chances are your clients are being affected.
Loneliness carries a hefty price tag in business as it reduces task performance, limits creativity, and impairs reasoning and decision making which translates to thousands of dollars being loss.
Smart business leaders can help reduce loneliness in a number of ways.
Create add value that foster social connection. You can provide opportunities for clients to connect, promote social gatherings in newsletters, and reach out to your rock star clients with a phone call.
Provide opportunities for employees to build stronger connections. Provide opportunities for staff to get to know each other such as allowing a few minutes during weekly meetings for staff to share something about themselves.
Reach out to your network. Check up on people you haven’t seen or heard from in a while with a phone call. They’ll appreciate your call and you maybe the only one who cared enough to check in.
Being connected to others is a fundamental human need and it’s essential for business. Strengthening client relationships adds to your bottom line and contributes to the greater good.