It’s common knowledge that It costs you five times or more to acquire a new client than to hang on to what you’ve got. So what are you doing to hang on to your existing clients before going to chase new business?

If half of your revenue or less is coming from your existing customer base, then you may need to concentrate on providing better customer service and improving your retention rate.

It doesn’t apply to all businesses, but most of the CEO clients that I work with derive 70 to 90 percent of their revenue year over year comes from their existing clients, which means that they put a strong focus on customer satisfaction.

The first step in increasing customer satisfaction and retaining clients is to truly understand why they are buying from you and ensure that you are meeting (and exceeding) their expectations.

I tell every one of my CEOs to call on their top 10 customers and ask them why they are buying from them. I also tell them to hand them their business card and let that customer know that they have a direct line of communication to them personally. So if their promise isn’t being met, the customer should feel comfortable enough to pick up the phone and call. Realize that the customer has to create reasons in their own mind to move on to another company–but they will if they don’t feel like they are getting what they need out of the relationship.

The second step is to take the feedback from your customers and focus on what they are doing well at. Once you fully understand what your strengths are and where clients are satisfied with your service, it opens the door to new customer opportunities.

Thirdly, ensure that everyone in your organization is an ambassador–especially account managers (farmers) that have constant contact with your client base. This is your first line of defense in preventing the rock falling through the cracks and losing clients.

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