Freelancer Tips

10 Steps to Help You Gain More Repeat Clients

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle
October 12, 2016
10 steps retention

It’s reported that attracting a new customer costs five times as much as keeping an existing one – yet too often, small businesses overlook the value of an existing consumer. These customers have the potential to deliver strong returns to a business, with one report identifying that 80 percent of future revenue could come from just 20 percent of existing clients. Keeping this in mind, is your business positioned to gain more repeat customers and as a result, sales? To help generate brand loyalty and increased revenue, consider how the below steps can help you leverage stronger customer retention.

STEP #1: Deliver Projects on Time

While presenting a project to a client on time may seem like a no-brainer to some, it often doesn’t top others priority lists. Clients, on the other hand, expect delivery to be on time or earlier – no exceptions. If you want to keep your clients loyal, make sure you are among those who deliver completed projects on time. Better yet? Deliver them sooner than expected whenever possible.

STEP #2: Surpass Customer Expectations

Whether you aim to deliver completed projects sooner, add an extra something to a customer order without charge or provide unexpected words of advice for clients to implement into their own marketing strategies, going above and beyond what customers expects is always a good thing. If you make this a standard in your own business practices, your customers won’t be able to overlook these details and as a result, will be more likely to return to you when they need to make future purchases.

STEP #3: Welcome Customer Feedback

Your customers have a front row seat to your job performance, so your interest in wanting to know their thoughts on how you do should be a priority. Push any emotions you have aside that may derail you from wanting to gain this insight and instead, welcome customer feedback as a way to improve upon your customer support. Additionally, be sure to encourage customer reviews on This a great way to gain new customers, as well, since online reviews are often what new customers look at before deciding on whom to work with.

STEP #4: Show Gratitude

There are countless reasons to offer thanks to your customers… among them being that without them, you wouldn’t be in business – literally. Recognizing this reality can help you more genuinely show customer gratitude through every stage of your communication with them. During a project, post projects and any other opportunity that presents itself positions you to show gratitude for their support. Offering a courteous tone in your communication goes a long way, as well.

STEP #5: Offer Incentives For Return Business

Consumers are bombarded with brand impressions, promotions and incentives every day that attract them to ultimately spend money. Are you among those offering this? When customers have already enjoyed an experience working with you and then are given an opportunity to save money or gain something in return for the opportunity to do so again, they are more likely to do so. One way to do this is to send an incentive for a project upgrade or free service once you have already delivered and effectively completed another project. The ideas are endless – but the single idea of actually doing so is all you need to get this ball rolling.

STEP #6: Suggest Something They May Need

While it’s impossible to read your client’s minds, it is possible to make suggestions based off their past orders. For example, did they order a caricature that you now offer in an altered version or in black and white? Make sure you inform them of new services or any service that you think would be relevant for them in order to keep them engaged and connected with your services.

STEP #7: Gain Customer Trust

As likely yourself and anyone can attest to, trust has to be earned over time. You simply don’t trust anyone… yet with positive experiences, trust can easily be earned. Keeping this in mind, are you delivering experiences that will earn you trust among your customers? From timely follow through to friendly support to genuine gratitude and of course, outstanding customer care, trust is something that speaks volumes among a customer and a business. If you’re trusted, customers are more likely to want to work with you again – plain and simple.

STEP #8: Create Convenience

Being available 24/7 at is already the best convenience you can offer a customer, but what else are you individually offering them that will make customers want to work with you again and again? When a project is placed with you, are your next steps easy to understand for the customer? Do consumers feel supported in their communication with you? Offer clear, concise and courteous communication to help ease their transaction and overall experience with you. As a result? Customers will appreciate their streamlined experience and will be more likely to return to you for repeat business.

STEP #9: Offer Outstanding Products

The reality is customers want quality work when they hire you – or anyone – to deliver a job for them. Previous customer feedback will help buyers identify who they may want to initially work with, but repeat customers return to those they are 110% satisfied with. A large part of this happiness will be based off of the project or products you have previously completed for them. Customers never forget good work… including yours. Your reward? Repeat sales.

STEP #10: Be the Best You Can Be

It’s no secret that sellers on are among the best around… and you’re a part of that! With your continued efforts in supporting your customers to the best of your ability, you’re that much closer to gaining repeat business and stronger sales success. Being uniquely you is part of the perks of being a gig seller, so embrace that. Just be sure you do with the customer always top of mind.Finally, remember that customers are just folks like you and I. Each one has their own traits and characteristics that will make them uniquely them – and sometimes that means not jiving with your unique self. Aim to make every customer happy, but don’t dwell on the ones you may not connect with. Move on, move forward and embrace those that you do. It’s that core audience of repeat customers, after all, that can help keep your business alive and thriving. Have any tips that have helped you retain customers? Share in the comments below.

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of Retail Minded, the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference and a regular contributor to various publications. Additionally, Reyhle is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill and has been the Spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014. Follow Reyhle on Twitter at @RetailMinded.
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