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16 Ways to Keep Your Website Clients Happy as a Freelancer
Getting new clients on the regular is just how your business or freelancing career flourishes and survives. Your clients are much more likely to buy from you again just because they know and trust you and already have a rapport with you. Where as disgruntled or dissatisfied clients could probably mock and laugh at you if you try selling to them again! And that just turns into a long waste of time and your energy that you can use on keeping your current clients happy. I mentioned just the other day in my other discussion on what are some good rewards and incentives are good to give your followers, that 25-40% of total business revenue is from returning customers and that half of your total revenue can be from your happy clients. So since keeping your current clients happy is so important, let's look at some ways of doing that and making them come back again and again!
Share surprise and document everything.
Be a yes man and say yes to everything.
I read something on Forbe's site once that said something like "Even if you don't think you can do it, still say you can anyway, get the job and then learn as you go." I'm not sure that would be good in most cases (brain surgery?). But in other cases when it comes to things you can do online for people, the chances are high that you can do it or get it done for you at a cheaper price than the client is willing to pay so you can still make a profit on it even if marginal. Besides, you want them to be happy clients so they come back and purchase again. People don't like being told no, so when customers or clients make odd requests or ask for something you haven't done before, try to work with them to keep them happy but just don't go outside of your boundaries. If you know for certain you can't do something for them because you don't know how. If you need to, research it first before saying no, as you may find out you are able to and can tell them yes and make a profit on that too.
Your clients aren't always going to be waiting for you to get to them until a certain date, so sometimes getting back to them early can be an appreciated gesture on your behalf. And they might not always be in conversation with you on Skype/Whatsapp or in Email or by telephone but do be ready and prepared to answer any on the spot questions or requests a work or progress update in a courteous and professional way. Don't leave it to them to wonder what's happening and when they're going to get a report if you've ran into an issue. Bring it up before they notice as soon as possible and explain all their options and try to get some feedback about it even if it means asking if they're happy with everything so far as this shows good will from your behalf. Also, always over estimate the delivery date by a day or so if you can too so when you deliver early it will mean your client is even happier if you tell them you worked hard on it for them as you should.
Never be late or run behind.
Never be late delivering work by the expected delivery date as far as you can always possibly help it. And if you are going to be late, don't be late and then wait for the client to contact you first. Contact them about it as early as possible but not until you've had to stop working for them to tell them about it ahead of time. People are people and know that life isn't perfect and this is the way that things go in business sometimes. But as long as you're giving them great customer service like this your clients will more be much more likely to tolerate it and understand and give you the benefit of the doubt. After all, you're the expert to them! But just keep your clients informed and updated all the way along until the end and after as well.
Categorize your clients and focus on the lucrative.
Lucrative. I love that word. I just love saying it. And thinking it. Lucrative lucrative lucrative. I was hoping that by saying it 3 times money might appear. But when it comes to your clients, some are much more lucrative clients than others. And in fact, you can categorize your clients into three different types of client. First you have your low revenue clients that don't spend much if at all and can be worth more time and energy to deal with than they give back. Then you have your clients that are quite hard to make happy and do spend but not much to spend much time bothering with. And then you have your top end clients that are easy to please and spend a lot more money and are the ones that that majority of your business comes from. These ones get the super treatment. And if you have a low revenue generating client eating up your time and preventing you from working on a bigger and better clients order know when to severe the business friendship and put them on the back burner.
Keep a list of people and businesses that can.
Sometimes your clients may ask you for things you can't do or to fix some issue you can't solve by yourself. So if possible by ready to provide them with someone who can that you can recommend to them. You could even go as far as asking them for them and getting back to them with the answer or setting up a meeting for them even if that would likely happen anyway.
Over-deliver but not by a lot.
It's good to give your clients more than they have paid for. Give a little more but not a lot. Don't go giving people 150 or 200% more than they paid for but keep it at around 110% extra just for good measure. If you give people too much or more than they paid for it devalues your service and makes it look like you don't value it that much yourself.
Don't forget about your clients.
After you have completed a clients work and delivered it to them. Don't forget about them and never contact them again. Wait a day or two and then message them back again asking how they are or if they have any questions. This will show greatly on your behalf as it looks less like you was just after their money and more like you actually care about them as a client, as a person.
Don't give free work.
Just like you should over deliver but not by a lot so you can please your clients, you should never do work for free otherwise this looks like you don't value your work and time much and if a client thinks that you don't value your work and time they will be less likely to buy it again from you.
Admit defeat and ignorance.
Sometimes a client may ask you a question you don't know the answer to immediately, don't try and make something up just to please them if you aren't really sure, it's okay to admit defeat and ignorance and tell them you'll get back to them with an answer shortly. If you're working for a business, tell them you'll check with the head department first. This shows more humility than trying to blag it.
Only set targets you can hit.
If you don't deliver by the stated delivery date time, there's no point in having a delivery date. You need a target to work towards and you need to hit them. But if your service takes 5 days to complete then deliver it in 5 days or less. You can now set your services to quick delivery and charge a little extra for the privilege and the client can get their money back if it's late. But in the real world the clients you get from your site likely wont have that privilege so being late on something that was meant to be delivered even quicker than normal could upset them even more.
Show off and brag about yourself.
Show your clients that you mean business and be prepared to show off any past work you've done or are working on if you are able. This shows genuineness and realness of your skills and abilities as a freelancer and keeps you out of the shady limelight when you can show off concrete samples and examples of your own or your other clients work.
Maintain high levels of customer service.
You've heard the saying "The Customer is Always Right
"? It's a motto that has proven to be very successful for the seller. Just ask any regular American corporate company today. But always try maintain a high level of customer service and be ready to solve all your clients problems, issues and queries as your willingness to please them shows that you value them and their money.
Drop your stressful clients.
Sometimes we all come across clients that are become abusive at the drop of a penny and hard to work with or even abuse and tiring. We all have off days and nobody's perfect, but if this ever happens to you, never retaliate in the same way, but always just try to diffuse the situation. Getting stressed and angry never solves anything. You have the power to think your way out of it. If you get stressed, your work will likely suffer and that will show through to your other clients too making it harder to please them all and more prone to making mistakes.
Take responsibility for your and your clients actions.
Don't wait for the client to point the finger and pass the blame, admit mistakes early whether its yours or the clients and take responsibility for it where you can rather than making the client feel like it was their fault even if it was. Taking the responsibility for mistakes makes your client less likely to feel at blame and they'll likely buy from you again.
Don't leave open ended offers.
By saying something stereotypical like "Is there anything else I can help you with", which can leave your client open to disappointment you could try a different approach and end with some additional possible ideas for them to consider. This will show you've gone the extra step to research something for them and can get you more work but they don't have to take you up on the offer.
Welcome your clients feedback.
Provide opportunities for your best clients to leave you feedback or even criticism and suggestions. You will be able to learn some valuable information which you can apply to make yourself better in that area which they have criticized or commented on. You can still make them feel like they're part of the process even if you don't make the changes to your service or business.
And that's a wrap! I had a few more penned down actually when I brainstormed it earlier. And I know upon know that you will have your own learned in your time freelancing. Please do share them here if you have any freelancing tips on keeping clients HAPPY!