In the past few posts, we’ve talked about how to generate leads and how to turn those leads into paying clients. But did you know that repeat clients and referrals are the most effective (and most affordable) way to build your business?
Today’s post is part 10 of PHCI’s marketing series, where we’ll be showing you how to delight clients so they become a source of repeat business and referrals.
Why is this important?
According to this article, your chances of getting repeat business from an existing client is 60-70%. And word of mouth is the primary factor in up to 50% of all purchasing decisions. That means providing an exceptional experience for your existing clients should always be a key part of your marketing strategy.
Satisfaction vs. Delight
Here’s the deal. Your clients will be satisfied when their expectations are met. Say you’re on time for your appointment, you listen to their health goals and challenges, and offer smart, insightful recommendations. You thank them for meeting with you and send them on their way.
Your clients are likely satisfied, which is great. But is that enough to make them shout from the rooftops about you? Probably not.
The goal is to delight your clients by exceeding their expectations. When you go above and beyond, your clients will do the same. They’ll come back to see you over and over again, and talk about how great you are to anyone who will listen.
Compared to other marketing tactics, client retention
and referrals cost very little, and require a lot less work.
So, before we dive into the how, let’s talk more about the why. Aside from it being less work and less expensive than nurturing new leads, here’s why you want to delight your existing clients:
- Delighted clients boost repeat business. Delivering an exceptional experience and building ongoing positive relationships with clients after their session is over is the best way to ensure repeat business. If your clients feel unheard or under-appreciated, they’re likely to give their business to another health coach.
- Delighted clients are your best brand advocates. Happy clients are more apt to tell everyone around them how amazing your health coaching business is. And, they’re probably telling people just like them—people who want to lose weight, get in shape, sleep better, or learn more about primal living. Even if your marketing is genuine and uses key phrases that your niche audience is saying, nothing beats a word-of-mouth recommendation from someone who’s worked directly with you.
- Delighted clients write testimonials and reviews. Most people read online reviews and testimonials before making a purchase. In fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s why having testimonials on your health coaching website or asking delighted clients to write a review can be a huge factor when it comes to referrals.
Now that you’ve got a good handle on why delighting clients is important, how do you do it?
Here’s how to delight clients every time.
Like we mentioned, going above and beyond is a sure fire way to delight your clients, keep them coming back, and inspire them to tell their friends and family members about you. Follow these examples and you’ll be on your way to having more repeat business and referrals than you can handle.
Provide a premium service.
This includes things like replying to phone calls and emails promptly (within 24 hours if possible), knowing your clients beyond just their health issues, and celebrating your clients’ victories no matter how small. You can even send them a handwritten thank you note after their first session. These are the types of details your clients will remember.
Add value on a regular basis.
Like we talked about in this post, consistent communication through an email marketing campaign will help build trust and loyalty. You might send clients an email with a free tutorial or ebook. Or maybe it’s a list of your favorite Paleo grab-and-go snacks. Email marking campaigns add value and keep your health coaching business top of mind.
Reward your followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with exclusive promotions and announcements—even if they’re aren’t a client yet. These people already like your brand, and have the power to become brand ambassadors in a major way, so keep them in the loop, answer their questions, give them shareable content and reward them for following you. Don’t have a social media presence yet? Read this post.
Spotlight success stories.
Has one of your clients overcome a huge obstacle? Lost a ton of weight? Ran their first marathon? Show your appreciation by featuring them on your website. After one of my clients told me she was down 22 pounds and ditched her sugar cravings, I featured her right on my home page! This makes clients feel valued and gives them a sense of pride in working with you.
Surprise them with an incentive.
Your incentive could be in the form of discounts, referral fees, or a free gift like a bonus session or a few samples of your favorite protein powder. Make sure your incentive is time sensitive to encourage clients to book another session with you or spread the word sooner rather than later.
Recognize special occasions.
Does your client have an upcoming birthday? A vacation? Did they get a new job, a new house, a new spouse? Make them feel special by recognizing the things that are special to them. You don’t necessarily have to send a gift, just sending a note to let them know you’re thinking of them is more than enough.
Start a loyalty program.
Give clients a reason to stick around besides the amazing health coaching services you provide. Consider starting a loyalty program with rewards like their 10th coaching session for free or $10 off every other follow-up session. Clients continue working with businesses that treat them well and give them rewards for their loyalty.
Show that you value their feedback.
You want to keep the lines of communications open, both ways. Maybe your clients have feedback about your online scheduler, your payment system, or the content you’re posting on social media. Surveys or feedback forms are great ways to gather this information and make clients feel comfortable sharing their thoughts. Let them know you’re listening, and that you’re working on implementing some of their ideas.
Go the extra mile, literally.
If you’re traveling to a city where you have long distance clients, make the effort to meet them for coffee or lunch or for a workout in the park. Going out of your way to have a face-to-face meet up will make a lasting impression, and will likely pay off with repeat business and referrals in the long run.
Refer your friends and family to them.
Is your client a realtor, a hairdresser, a dentist? Be sure to tell your friends and family about them. The referrals you give show clients you really care about the relationship and seeing them succeed in their business ventures, instead of just being focused on having your own client roster fully booked.
In summary, it’s just good business.
Delighting clients is the easiest and most cost-effective way to get repeat business and referrals. Whether you’re a primal health coach, a nutritionist, a personal trainer, or a life coach, using the tactics above will help ensure an unforgettable experience, keep a steady stream of new clients coming in, and keep your existing clients coming back for more.
Here’s a list of our marketing series posts in order:
- Two Essential Questions You Must Address Before Developing Your Health Coaching Marketing Plan
- How to Use Inbound Marketing to Win Clients
- How to Build an Irresistible Health Coaching Website
- How to Generate Traffic for Your Health Coaching Website
- How to Use Content Marketing to Gain Clients
- 3 Simple Steps for Converting Web Traffic Into Leads
- How to Use Email Autoresponders to Convert Leads Into Clients While You Sleep
- How (and Where) to Hire Freelance Writers, Designers, and Tech Support
- 8 Tactics for Closing the Sale on Your Next Discovery Call
- How to Delight Clients and Keep Them Coming Back for More
- PHCI Marketing Glossary: 43 Essential Marketing Terms for Health Coaches