The Art of Retention – CARE!Aug 31, 2021
When prospective clients come to Maverick Drycleaners, about half of them are looking for a “hail mary pass” into the end zone. They are bleeding out, struggling with cash flow, and need relief fast! When I talk to a dry cleaning owner in this situation, I have them take 3 action steps that yield big increases in cash flow with low levels of investment. They all involve getting the most out of the clients you already have.
One of these action steps is to focus on having a retention program. Clients go out of pattern and are lost for all sorts of reasons. Some lose a job, some get divorced, some move out of the city, some take extended vacations, some retire, some die, and some are disappointed in your quality. But there is one reason that is more common than all of these other reasons combined. And that is that the client had a feeling of indifference from someone on your team.
This feeling of indifference interrupts the client's journey at all levels. When a client feels indifferent, what they are really feeling is a lack of being cared for. And EVERYONE wants to feel that the other person genuinely cares for them. If this indifference is light, the client will almost certainly consider all future interactions a transaction. Your team member showed they didn’t want to treat the situation with care and did not focus on investing in the relationship.
Why do people want to be cared for? It makes us feel appreciated, important and included. And also because almost all of us have been in situations where we were not cared for. In the strongest sense, I consider trauma “a time when we were strongly not cared for.” And I have firsthand seen unresolved trauma contribute to addictions, develop into suicide, create deep depression, and ruin lives. As humans, we want to avoid not being cared for at all costs. This concept of caring for others is why we call our retail team members “Client Care Advisors (CCA’s).” We really care.
So, when a client falls out of a pattern or is lost, they usually do not feel cared for. How do you reengage them and retain them as a client? The exact opposite of what has happened – you show that you really do care. And there are all sorts of ways that you can do this in a very personal way.
Next week, we will talk about all of the different tactics to reengage and retain your clients. In the meantime, give a personal call (yes….you!) to your Top 5 “out of pattern or lost clients.” Tell them that you care about them, wanted to make sure they were okay, and ask if you disappointed them in any way. If you did, make it right and correct it while you are on the phone. This will give you a peek into why your clients are drifting away.
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