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If you still believe that once a customer, always a customer – think again. Just because a customer used your service or bought your product once, doesn’t mean that they will continue to do so in the future. What are you doing to build a committed relationship with your current clients?

Here are four rules of the road for customer retention efforts:

Rule #1: Show Your Appreciation
One of the most common reasons a customer changes vendors is neglect – not because the price was too high or the quality too low. They simply don’t want to be forgotten or neglected. Show them how much you value their business.

Rule #2: Know Your Customer’s Business
Become an expert in your customer’s business. Keep abreast of their industry news and share items of interest with them. Your interest will be apparent to your customer and your insight will be more valuable.

Rule #3: Seek to Understand Their Expectations
Every customer and customer organization is different. When we assume that we understand their expectations, we risk losing the customer in the long term. Regularly ask if you are meeting their needs and strive to surpass them so they have no reason to look elsewhere.

Rule #4: Establish Regular Communications
Your communications reveal your attitudes toward customers. Establishing regular communication via newsletters, email, mailings, etc. will demonstrate your commitment to your customers and foster continued awareness of your goods and services.