This is the second in a three part series on client retention.

In part one of this series, I covered the importance of investing time, energy, and resources into keeping your current clients happy. As discussed, this is often a challenge for business owners – as the tendency most of us share is to focus on acquiring new customers.

But the failure to keep current customers happy is a recipe for disaster. I’ve seen it time and time again. To prevent running into the same problem in your business, below are three practical systems which lead to satisfied and loyal customers. I’ve used or helped my clients use each one of them and can tell you that they are very successful!

  1. Offer periodic gifts or special offers simply to show your appreciation. Remember, there is a good chance that your current clients will see some of your marketing efforts that are aimed at new customers. If these marketing pieces include an offer (which they should!), your current customers are naturally going to want that added value for themselves. Counteract this through occasional gifts or bonuses—holiday gifts, perhaps, or additional services at no extra charge for a month. Make sure to express the idea that you are providing these gifts or additional value simply to show your appreciation.

  2. Consider publishing a newsletter or e-newsletter. Regular correspondence with your clients is a great way to add value to their experience. Of course, it is important that you do it right – focus on providing value to your readers! News, tips, and suggestions that are relevant to their interests work well.

  3. Host a yearly gathering for your clients. This is a bit more ambitious and won’t work for everyone, but if your clients are located in the same geographic area, a holiday party or some other event can be a hit. It’s an opportunity for your clients to get to know you and your family, and vice versa. It’s a great opportunity for them to mingle with each other and to enjoy a pleasant evening out. A word of caution: you can’t take a half-hearted approach to such an event. It needs to be a memorable and enjoyable time, so if you can’t commit the time and resources, save it until you can!