In this post, I’m once again talking to Ashley Fillmore. Together, we tackle the topic of client retention, which is something that Ashley is extremely good at. In fact, she currently holds a 95% client retention rate!
While a lot of people like to talk about starting a business and attaining clients, the topic of serving current clients and ensuring they’re happy with their experience isn’t explored nearly enough. That’s where this post comes in.
As mentioned above, Ashley boasts an impressive 95% client retention rate. She and I discussed how having that retention success has affected her and the rest of her business.
Ashley explained that one of the positive effects it’s had is that she has a stronger desire to over-deliver on whatever she promises to her clients. She noted that this is something that has really motivated her clients to stick around in the ways they have, committing to her and her coaching long term.
This has helped her build trust with her clients – because they know she’s going to deliver on what she commits to doing for them. They know she has a good program and that they’re getting great results. It’s really as simple as that!
Another thing Ashley and I discussed is how she went about formulating a continuation program to keep her clients on long-term and to have multiple offers to attract the right people to her business. Ashley focused on just getting solid one-on-one clients in her first year, but then after that she was detecting patterns in what potential clients were asking.
For example, she was constantly asked if there was a more affordable option than the one-on-one coaching option. She began to think about what program she could offer to bridge this gap.
Once she decided how to do that, she realized that this more affordable coaching option would not only be great for new clients, but for clients who were ready to graduate from their one-on-one coaching. This created a continuation timeline that allowed her to keep those established clients in a creative way that worked for everyone involved.
If you’re finding that you’re getting a lot of DMs or inquiries for something you don’t have built into your offers, it could be a sign that it’s something to look into and incorporate for not only new clients, but as something for your existing clients to take advantage of, too. Ask yourself, What do my clients need? Be open to the fact that they may start needing something that you don’t currently offer, and then be prepared to create an offering around that theme.
Another topic Ashley and I covered is the fact that building offers and understanding your ideal client is all based on trial and error. If you try something that doesn’t work, don’t consider that a failure! Instead, look at it as a learning experience and an opportunity for growth for your business and what you offer.
You’re guaranteed to not get everything right on the first try, but taking the time & care to work toward the best offers & plans can make all the difference in your client experience.
It’s also important to note that you won’t retain every client that you have. And that’s totally normal! While it’s nice to keep the people you work with over time, there will always be some clients that simply aren’t a good fit. Or, you’ll have clients that complete a program and are ready for that “release,” moving onto the next thing because you’ve done such a good job in your service to them. So, don’t get discouraged when you lose an occasional client here and there – it happens to even the best of coaches.
When you have clients that are close to the end of their program or contract, it’s important to start having the conversation of what the next steps are and the reasons for a continuation as you present your next offer. This opens the door for your client to move forward with you, and it also gives you the chance to understand their reasons for continuing on their journey with you.
These conversations also help you to manage the expectations and desires of your clients as you move into a new phase of working together. During these conversations, always celebrate how far your client has come in the time you’ve worked together. From there, set expectations for where you’re headed next.
During these conversations, Ashley stressed that it’s also vital to show your client that whether they re-sign with you or not, you care deeply about them having the support they need going forward. Your clients will always respect the fact that you’re in it for their well-being, so never hesitate to make that clear.
When you do have clients that decide not to move forward for whatever reason, Ashley and I discussed the importance of off-boarding them the right way. Finishing strong with a client up until the last day of their contract makes a huge difference, and the last month to six weeks that you work with them should be focused around that off-boarding.
This is because, first, it’s in the best interest of the client. You don’t want to just have them stop everything the two of you have been working on cold turkey. This is not good for their well-being, which is always your priority. Show them that you’re taking the time to help them transition from working together to not without them losing the progress they’ve made.
Another reason for this is because you want to end on a high note so that you leave the door open to these individuals coming back to work with you in the future. Returning customers are a big part of client retention. People may need a break for whatever reason, but working with a repeat customer will always be easier than working with someone completely new, so keep that in mind.
Ashley is big on giving people what they truly need, not what she thinks they need. And to do this, it requires a lot of careful research and planning. Lucky for us, she provided some helpful tips into how she does this, leading to happy clients and, thus, her high retention rate.
Here are some of her top tips to consider in building the right offers for your clients:
Giving your clients the offer they truly need is a great way to keep them coming back, increasing your retention rate. Once you have the right offers in place, over-delivering on what you’ve promised (in a way that benefits your client and yourself) is key to keeping them happy and building that essential trust. This ensures they’ll want to keep the relationship continuing in their lives. Ashley gave us so many great tips for increasing your client retention rate, and I’m so glad that we were able to explore them here!
If you would like to connect with Ashley, you can find her on Instagram, or you can join Ashley’s Female Entrepreneurs: Learn How to Grow & Scale Your Online Business With A Small Following Facebook group.
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