Looking for ways to ditch the churn? A great customer retention plan is your best bet!
Acquiring new customers is a formidable task, but the real challenge lies in nurturing long-lasting relationships with existing clients.
In fact, retaining current clients is the cost-effective key to sustained success.
From reduced marketing costs to a flourishing reputation, a strong agency client retention strategy is vital for all industries- especially marketing and media!
Media and professional services currently hold an impressive retention rate of 84%.
What these statistics tell us is that the chances of those in the industry achieving an optimal client retention rate are very high.
This is all great news for agencies looking to preserve their customer base! 🥳
Keep reading to discover 7 valuable strategies for agencies to retain clients, and how to actually measure the effectiveness of your action plan.
EXTRA: We have included real-life case studies of brands that have effectively used client retention methods in their business models! 😄
What is Client Retention?
Customer retention is a metric used to measure the success of an agency’s efforts to maintain long-term relationships with their existing clients.
This success can be indicated through:
- Extended contracts
- Repeat business
- Positive testimonials
- Long-term partnerships
- Client advocacy of your agency
- Increased investment in your services
Carefully crafted retention strategies are usually put in place to reduce customer churn and produce loyal customers that continue doing business with an agency.
A low retention rate can be a telling sign that a business is struggling with their customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.
High customer retention rates are a must for any brand looking to stay at the top of the competitive market!
Why is Customer Retention Important for Agencies?
Retaining existing customers comes with several rewards for all agencies; particularly those in the marketing industry.
Let’s take a look at some of those benefits:
Long-term revenue growth
We can all agree that customer acquisition comes with a lot of marketing and onboarding costs.
From advertising to resources and training, the truth is that new clients are expensive!
A stable revenue stream from existing clients not only eliminates the need for those additional costs, but also minimizes the risk of losing clients.
Preserving your clientele allows for predictable agency-client relationships to be formed, which help to establish customer loyalty and a stable revenue.
In fact, statistics show that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by up to 75%.
An astonishing percentage! 🤯
So, client retention is a cost-effective way for marketing agencies to reduce expenses and grow their profits through a loyal customer base.
BONUS: Cross-selling additional services or up-selling add-ons and upgraded plans is best suited for existing clients that are familiar with the quality of your services.
Take advantage of this and watch your revenue increase without the need for extensive marketing efforts!
Only 1 out of every 26 customers is likely to voice their complaints- which means that the other 25 would rather take their business elsewhere.
Not knowing where you went wrong is a huge problem that plagues most businesses
After all, one of the best ways to deal with an issue is to identify it and prevent it from escalating further.
Retained clients are more likely to provide honest constructive feedback to an agency they are familiar with.
Plus, their feedback is a lot more informed due to their extensive experience with your products!
This continuous customer feedback loop is necessary for identifying areas of improvement and providing exceptional customer service.
Taking client feedback into consideration is also a great way to tailor your services and offer a more personalized customer experience.
This approach will meet customer needs better and lead to a more successful agency-client relationship.
FUN FACT: 65% of new business comes from referrals!
Retained clients are likely satisfied with an agency’s services; hence why they have decided to invest in a long-term partnership.
Chances are they have even formed more personal connections with team members through frequent communications.
Clients who feel that their needs are being continuously met have a higher chance of recommending your agency to their network.
Not only is this a great way to build credibility in your industry, but it is a cost-effective way to acquire new customers and expand your customer base organically.
Just remember to stay proactive! 🤨
Promoting your brand isn’t always the first thing in your customers’ mind, so a simple feedback request can make the biggest impact.
The 7 Most Important Client Retention Strategies Your Agency Needs (With Real Case Studies!)
Now that you know the significance of client retention, you are probably eager to implement it into your marketing efforts.
Below, we have compiled the best tried and tested strategies to consider for a higher customer retention rate:
1# Offer a strong onboarding experience
A smooth onboarding is the best way to establish a productive relationship between your agency and clients from the start.
First impressions matter and by offering a great onboarding process you can build trust and rapport with your new clients.
An effective onboarding process should include:
- Smooth data collection to tailor services
- Welcoming clients to facilitate a positive first impression
- Getting access to clients’ accounts
- Conducting an audit to understand what work your client needs
- Hosting a kickoff meeting to present your strategy
- Getting all legal forms signed to mitigate risk
The ultimate goal of a strong onboarding is to reduce early churn risk by establishing a strong connection early on and dealing with concerns the customers may have before they turn into bigger problems.
Find out more: The Best Way to Onboard New Clients
Why not go ahead and automate some parts of onboarding to improve efficiency and reduce unnecessary costs? 🙌
For example, rather than exchanging dozens of emails in the hopes of scheduling a meeting, you can opt for a scheduling tool that will simplify this process for you and your clients.
Automated onboarding workflows have been proven to improve user experience and create loyal customers.
Find out more: 6 Ways to Automate Agency Client Onboarding
Case Study: Skytale Digital
Skytale Digital is a marketing agency that produces tracked marketing campaigns for restaurants worldwide.
Their onboarding process consists of a strategy call -whereby both parties can see if they are a good fit for each other- and access requests to their clients’ Facebook and Instagram accounts.
To create a strong onboarding, SkyTale Digital have automated their access requests by using Leadsie.
With Leadsie’s link, agencies can get access in just a few clicks. All they have to do is send their unique link to their clients!
The founder, Luke, has told us that Leadsie has helped them retain clients by streamlining onboarding:
“It’s helped us streamline our onboarding which helps us retain clients and get their ongoing billing started.”
They even got positive feedback on how smooth the process is!
Here’s how it works:
2# Showcase your agency’s core values
Building brand awareness is key to fostering familiarity and showcasing authenticity.
Whether this involves inspiring your clients with a mission or clearly stating your brand’s values, brand awareness offers several benefits to digital agencies:
- It differentiates you from competitors
Standing out from the crowd can be difficult when you offer similar services to other agencies.
A Harvard study revealed that emotion heavily influences B2B purchases, thus brand awareness can evoke trust and loyalty with your clients.
When customers’ values align with yours, they are more likely to heavily invest and exhibit customer loyalty to your brand.
- It builds trust
Communicating your core values is a great way to showcase transparency and integrity with your target audience.
However, it is important to always uphold your values through your excellent customer service, product delivery, and customer support.
Clients are more likely to remain loyal when they see consistency between a brand’s words and actions.
While brand awareness is common amongst B2C marketing, this is no easy task in the B2B marketing industry.
Here are some ways you can make your agency more relatable to your clients:
- Define your brand values
Your values are the foundation of your brand, and by defining them you are letting your clients know what guides your decision-making as a service provider.
Do you strongly believe in diversity and inclusivity? Or maybe environmental responsibility?
Establishing your core beliefs will make your brand more personal and give your clients more reasons to stay with you in the long run.
- Leverage the power of content marketing
This is one of the most effective ways to successfully build brand awareness.
Make use of case studies, blog posts, podcasts, and videos to inform, educate, and inspire your prospective and current clients.
Showcasing your expertise is a great way to prove that you are upholding your brand’s values and retain customers.
Case Study: Buffer
Buffer is a multi-purpose social media management tool.
They offer features such as post scheduling, social media analytics, and post customizations.
The brand is known for their remote work culture and emphasis on transparency.
They label themselves as an ‘Open Company’ that makes metrics such as finances and salaries available to the public in order to build trust.
This is a great example of how a brand can retain customers by defining their values and consistently following through on their promise.
3# Provide a personalized customer experience
Research shows that personalization drives 10% to 15% revenue lift.
Catering to the unique needs of individual clients is necessary for customer retention, as it is customer satisfaction that will foster brand loyalty.
After all, clients are less likely to explore alternative options when they feel understood and valued within your agency.
As Lauren Oakes, CEO of Australia's No.1 agency Megaphone told us:
"The experience you provide customers will make the difference between a once-off purchase and a lifelong customer — this is becoming increasingly important with the cost of paid media rising. Personalizing the experience your customers have will provide a positive experience for the customer and can be one of the most cost-effective ways to impact your bottom line. It's a win-win for both."
Tailoring your products should begin with the data collection process during onboarding.
A client intake form can be used to collect essential information from prospective clients, which can then tell an agency what each individual client’s expectations are.
By finding this out early on, you can impress your clients with personalized strategies during your kickoff meeting!
Find out more: How to Write a Client Intake Form
Personalized customer solutions contribute to customer retention significantly by ultimately adding a personal touch to your business model.
Case Study: Spotify
With over 573 million users, Spotify is one of the largest digital music services.
It is well-known for its hyper personalized customer experience- making it possible with AI-powered recommendations.
Spotify is pretty great at collecting and analyzing users’ music habits. 🎶
With its sophisticated machine learning algorithms, it is able to use patterns to understand music preferences and predict what users may enjoy in the future.
This valuable customer retention strategy minimizes the need for existing customers searching for alternative music services.
This can be seen in their customer retention rate, where 83% of users who initially purchased the Premium Duo plan between October 2020 and October 2021 were retained after 12 months.
4# Offer collaborative content creation
This involves the active participation of multiple stakeholders to create content.
Some examples include document writing, multimedia content, and design of visual assets.
Encouraging clients to contribute ideas during the creative process of content-making can be a key factor in client retention in the following ways:
- Enhanced client engagement
Fostering a sense of collaboration can make current customers feel heard, increasing their overall satisfaction with your client-focused approach.
- Alignment with client vision
Collaborating on content creation is a great way to avoid any misunderstandings with the final product and ensure that the output closely aligns with the customers’ vision.
- Promotes transparency
By working together on content, clients get access to the various stages of an agency’s workflow. This is important for building trust and a shared understanding of project milestones.
Overall, collaborative content creation uses the strengths of both teams to create content that promotes customer satisfaction.
Case Study: IKEA
Founded in 1943, IKEA is a global home furnishing brand that began in Sweden.
The famous retailer is planning on launching a digital platform called ‘Co-Create IKEA.’
Customers will have the ability to develop and test new products, and if their ideas are successful, IKEA may invest in their future products.
This is a great opportunity for talented individuals, designers, and start ups to get recognition through the largest furniture retailer in the world.
There is already a big community of IKEA fans rooted in product innovation, so involving these customers in the design process is a smart client retention strategy that ensures continuous customer loyalty and satisfaction.
5# Maintain regular communication
Active communication is a cornerstone for effective customer retention for agencies.
Don’t just wait for your clients to reach out to you.
Here are some ways for your agency to be proactive:
- Company Newsletter
An email newsletter is the simplest retention strategy that will keep your clients engaged with your agency’s activities.
Keep them updated with upcoming events, relevant blog posts, educational workshops, and recent accomplishments.
TIP: Personalize your emails for each individual client to enhance their value. You can do this by using their name, thanking them for your ongoing collaboration, and sending them tailored content.
- Educational programs and resources
Training sessions and educational workshops position your agency as a valuable learning resource rather than just a simple partner.
These resources heavily benefit the customers and make them feel like you are someone that cares about client success.
For instance, launching an interactive SEO basics course can showcase your industry expertise and empower clients to contribute more in future projects.
- Surveys and feedback sessions
Lauren, CEO of Australia's No.1 agency Megaphone shares her expertise:
"Feedback from clients and customers has the potential to exponentially improve the way you operate your business. Often a founder or staff member is so close to the day-to-day operations that they fail to see the biggest areas of opportunity. The improvements you want to make in your business are the ones that will directly impact the success and sales — and the people that determine this success, are your customers. You can do this through reading your reviews, sending an email to customers asking specific questions, or sending out a survey for feedback. If you have the resources, I find calling someone directly is the most impactful way to do this — the more personal the better."
Sending feedback isn’t always on clients’ minds, so being proactive with surveys and feedback questions is key for providing excellent customer service.
You can simply send a survey via email, or hold transparency sessions where you can gather data on client satisfaction through deeper discussions.
BONUS: Communication can easily be automated with agency workflow tools. From scheduling meetings to sending out emails when a subscription is about to expire, automating this aspect of the business relationship can save you lots of time.
Case Study: Megaphone
Megaphone is Australia’s multi-award-winning #1 digital marketing agency.
By putting together an effective growth strategy, they have managed to see super-fast growth, quickly reaching $10 million in revenue.
Megaphone not only has an active blog with plenty of learning material, but they also have a page full of free educational resources.
From email marketing to the power of pop-up ads, they have compiled a wide selection of free resources that is guaranteed to encourage customers to expand their skill set and consistently engage with the agency.
This effective client retention strategy is a must for any digital agency looking to reduce churn rate.
6# Start a referral program
Referral programs contribute greatly to both client retention and organic customer acquisition, as customers are more likely to trust word-of-mouth recommendations.
For instance, a survey found that 92% of internet users trust word-of-mouth recommendations, whereas only 36% trust video ads.
While satisfied customers tend to naturally talk about an agency they feel happy with, it is imperative that you encourage existing customers to do so with incentivized referral programs if you are looking for a strong customer retention rate.
These incentives will keep current customers happy, while bringing in new leads.
Rewards can take different forms:
- Discounts and coupons
Offer a discount on the client’s next purchase or client retainer when a successful referral takes place.
- Extended subscription
Extend the client’s subscription or retainer period as a reward for successful referrals.
- Surprise them with a gift
Send them personalized gifts via mail or virtual gift cards to popular retailers, restaurants, or other online platforms.
- Public recognition
Publicly acknowledge clients who made significant referrals through your company newsletter, social media shout-outs, or annual awards ceremonies.
BONUS: Consider implementing a paid customer loyalty program as part of your client retention strategy.
A study found that customers who join loyalty programs are 60% more likely to increase their spending with your company.
The customers will be required to pay a small fee to access exclusive perks and benefits.
These could include access to discounted packages, premium early access to new services, or access to premium training and educational workshops.
Thus, paid loyalty programs are proven methods that boost customer retention; a perfect addition to your client retention strategies!
Case Study: ChiroCandy
ChiroCandy is one of the biggest chiropractic marketing agencies in the US.
With multiple client retention strategies in place - including educating their clients on marketing strategies- one that stands out the most is their referral program.
When a client successfully refers a business to ChiroCandy AND they are active with them for 6 months or longer, the referring client will receive free TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook marketing services.
This referral program is a great way to encourage new customers to sign up, while also incentivizing them to stay with ChiroCandy.
7# Start a client podcast or video series
This customer retention strategy is an innovative way to diversify the mediums through which agencies connect with their target audience.
The auditory experience adds an element of entertainment that compliments the visual aspect of an episode.
Hosting a podcast series is great for customer retention for several reasons:
- Community building
Featuring interviews with clients is an effective way to give them a space to share their insights and can help build community around the agency’s brand.
Overall, client interviews create a sense of belonging that encourages ongoing client engagement through featured stories, comments, and questions. 🤝
- Showcase agency success
By featuring long-term clients in interviews, agencies can highlight the positive outcome of their service; encouraging new customer acquisition and a successful agency-client relationship.
- Address client concerns
If you are looking for a more interactive approach, you can incorporate Q&A sessions into episodes that aim to address client queries and feedback.
This customer-centric approach is an entertaining way to ensure customer satisfaction, provide great customer service, and boost customer retention.
Case Study: Leadsie
Here at Leadsie, we have compiled video testimonials and case studies in the form of a video series, where our co-founder Johannes Radig produces client spotlight episodes.
These series provide a platform for our clients to share insights and stories about their agency’s success, as well as how they benefited from our onboarding tool.
This way, we can continuously tailor our product to better target our audience and boost client retention.
How is Retention Calculated? (+ Other Metrics)
The formula for measuring customer retention is pretty straightforward:
Customer Retention Rate = (Total Number of Customers at the end of the Period - New Customers Acquired) / Customers at the Start of the Period
This involves a comparison between the number of customers at the end of the period to the number of customers at the beginning.
IMPORTANT: You have to know your client churn in order to calculate the formula.
The final figure has to be a percentage, which will translate into your customer retention rate.
A higher percentage reflects a healthier customer base and stronger client loyalty.
How to calculate Client Churn
An agency’s churn rate refers to the percentage of customers that have stopped using your product.
This can be in the form of ending a subscription or simply not repeating any purchases.
A churn rate is used to assess customer retention and is useful for understanding how your business is performing.
A low churn rate is desirable, with most companies aiming for less than 10% churn annually.
Here’s the formula for calculating your agency’s churn rate:
Annual Churn Rate = (Number of Customers at Start of Year - Number of Customers at End of Year) / Number of Customers at Start of Year
How to calculate Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The Net Promoter Score is a metric used to calculate customer satisfaction and loyalty.
It typically involves simple questions that aim to produce an understanding of how likely customers are to recommend your products to others.
There are three types of respondents:
- Promoters (highly satisfied customers who have scored 9-10)
- Passives (neutral customers who have scored 7-8)
- Detractors (unhappy customers who have scored 0-6)
Here’s the formula to calculate NPS:
Net Promoter Score = % of Promoters - % of Detractors
This is a valuable metric to consider, as it can help you identify customers who are likely to refer your brand to their network, allowing for better targeting to boost client retention.
Are You Ready to Watch Your Profits Grow?
Customer retention is a sustainable method to increase revenue and improve overall customer satisfaction.
Implementing client retention strategies into your business model is a great way to solidify existing relationships with clients and save on client churn and acquisition costs.
Retaining customers is an ongoing process, so it is necessary to regularly evaluate these efforts and ensure they are constantly yielding optimal results.
Here at Leadsie, our goal is to help you maintain a high customer retention rate by automating one of the hardest aspects of onboarding.
Get access to your clients’ assets in just a few clicks! 😄
Don’t believe us? Give Leadsie a try with our 14-day FREE trial and watch your sales grow!
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