My firm Five Blocks offers digital reputation management services and often our clients engage us as one would an exterminator or a locksmith – to help them solve a very specific measurable problem.
In order to retain our clients far beyond the original reason they hired us we employ the following tactics.
1) HOLISTIC APPROACH: We reframe the issue as a symptom rather than a cause. Meaning that while we can provide some relief for your immediate need, you need a more complete long term solution to address the underlying causes. This same strategy could make sense for other businesses where you can both address a short-term need but also help the client adopt a “lifestyle change” in their business around your area of expertise.
2) PROVIDE UNIQUE ADDICTIVE DELIVERABLES : For example, unique insightful analysis that is easily understood and helps communicate successes within their own organization. One of our clients is a large bank and we have created a colorful weekly report of their online reputation that is then distributed widely within relevant parts of the organization. If the company moved to another vendor they would lose this popular report which highlights the work our contacts are accomplishing for their firm.
3) EDUCATE YOUR CLIENT: Our field, like many others, is constantly evolving and there are new opportunities and threats emerging all the time. We use a portion of our regular calls and reports for education: to share the latest opportunities, trends, and threats related to our work. When we have asked our clients for feedback they tell us that this part of our report is consistently insightful – and we feel this is an additional reason that clients stick with us for so long.
4) DEVELOP GREAT RELATIONSHIPS: We encourage our account team to develop friendly relationships and to support our clients even in areas that are beyond the scope of our agreements. When we do decide to move an account director off of an account we usually do so by introducing someone new and leaving the original account team in the loop and copied on emails for several months. In this way we ensure very smooth handoffs.