Hot business tip no. 10: Develop a client retention strategy

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How to hang on to your clients...

How to hang on to your clients…

Acquiring a new client can be between 5 and 10 times more costly than retaining an existing one, meaning a retention strategy should be an essential part of your business plan.

Any successful retention strategy is likely to have two components –

  1. an understanding of which clients leave, and when and why, and
  2.  initiatives to maintain stickiness (especially targeted to clients deemed more ‘at risk’).

Keeping tabs on clients who leave gets harder the more your practice grows, so it’s important to employ some scalable tools.

Understanding the numbers for your portfolio is important. Watch for trends, in terms of age groups, policy types or client segments (for example younger clients may see less need to keep cover, 45 year olds with trauma may find the age–based increases challenging). Also consider seeking direct feedback from clients who leave, through a formal survey or even a simple email or phone call.

Secondly you need to build your ‘stickiness index’; Things to consider include telling stories about successful claims and your role in the process (through your newsletter and website), packaging your offer in a way that’s hard to replicate, regularly viewing loadings and exclusions and encouraging clients to think of you as the first port of call for matters financial (e.g. fridge magnets, calendars, wallet cards).

Of course you also need to address the issues you uncover in step 1, including factors you can control (your service) and those you can influence (e.g. proactive communication before renewal time for at risk clients).

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This is an extract from a collection of business improvement tips for advisers, launched at Zurich’s Trax2Success national roadshow, featuring the 2013 AFA Adviser of the year Jenny Brown.

Click here to read Hot business tip number 1: Look after yourself and your staff

Click here to read Hot business tip number 2: Survey your clients

Click here to read Hot business tip number 3: Place a higher value on your time

Click here to read Hot business tip number 4: Review your client onboarding process

Click here to read Hot business tip number 5: Adopt an estate planning methodology across your business

Click here to read Hot business tip number 6: Tailor your communication strategy by client generation

Click here to read Hot business tip no number 7: Change your approach to review meetings

Click here to read Hot business tip number 8: Create a differentiated service offering (segment your client base)

Click here to read Hot business tip number 9: Set up a Board of Advice

Click here to read Hot business tip number 11: Run a program where staff drive improvements

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 12: Build your emotional intelligence

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 13: Go Social

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 14: Get better at handling objections

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 15: Create stronger referral sources

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 16: Set up a Google account

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 17: Learn from leading advisers

Click here to read Hot business tip number. 18: Make better use of technology in your business

Click here to read Hot business tip number 19: Improve your office environment

Click here to read Hot business tip number 20: Develop a great value proposition

Click here to read Hot business tip number 21: Make more use of video in your business

Click here to read Hot business tip number 22: Optimise your website for mobile

Click here to read Hot business tip number 23: Have a marketing plan

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