The old business maxim goes that keeping an existing client happy is more cost-effective than going out and hunting for new ones. Though client acquisition is obviously important, we also agree that great customer service and business partnerships are really crucial to business success. We’ve been incredibly lucky over the years to work with some fantastic organisations. We are pleased to say that some of our clients have been with us since the very beginning of GWS, with many of our other successful business relationships spanning the best part of a decade. The great thing about long-term clients is that you begin to develop an atmosphere of partnership, achieving innovative results together. Here are some ways to maximise long-standing client relationships.

Still working with our very first client

We are still working with our very first client from 15 years ago. We wonder how many agencies can say the same?!

Rebranding from Nicholl Food Packaging to Advanta in 2014, Advanta are the leading manufacturer of foil containers in Europe, headquartered in Cannock. Thanks to our long-standing relationship with Advanta, we have renewed their website four times now, each time getting more involved with their digital brand. Most recently in 2014, we got involved in the redesign of their new website and online catalogue.  We are proud of the fact that Advanta have come back to us for 30 separate contracts over the past 15 years, sticking with us through various company changes which have seen them quadruple in size, become multinational with operations in France and Germany and move their UK base to a large modern factory in Staffordshire!

Benefits of building long-term client relationships

Building long-term working relationships with clients can be a huge asset to your company. It increases your credibility and makes you stand out from the crowd. Just make sure that you have the customer service provision in place to actually keep your clients happy! Being a long-term service provider is no excuse for complacency.

  • Focusing on partnership and viable growth, rather than cheap and fast results, means you get to deliver real value.
  • It's actually cheaper to keep a client happy or upsell to an existing one, than go out and find a brand new one.
  • By sticking around, you get to know your client's business inside out, meaning you can offer more insightful solutions.
  • Long-term partners make for great referrers and brand advocates- make them central to your marketing plan.

Insider knowledge helps deliver results

Getting to know an organisation and really understand its needs means you can create something of immense value.

Our relationship with the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service spans a decade and has saved them valuable time and money thanks to our custom development solutions. Through many meetings and discussions with SWMAS we were able to map out a unique development product that would solve their problems.  We also have a long-standing relationship with the famous IQ membership organisation Mensa, creating complex member sites for both Mensa International and British Mensa. We have been involved in many site updates and development projects for Mensa since they first came to us for the site.

Building a meaningful client relationship over the years means discussing new strategies, as well as providing a sense of continuity and security. When other suppliers come around looking for business, make sure the advantages of staying with you outweighs any perceived new 'value'.

How to use insider knowledge to deliver a better service:

  • Talk to employees and stakeholders to get a feel for what their pain points are and see if you can solve them.
  • Upsell current solutions and contracts by demonstrating how you can add value.
  • Think of the entire organisation as a whole and see where else you could be making a difference. Are there other departments who would benefit from your services?
  • Take advantage of the personal relationships you have developed over the years to deliver above and beyond customer service.

What you need to know about long-term clients

Pleasing long-term clients is about remaining agile and reactive, as well as being available and reliable. You want to keep channels of communication open and reassure clients that you are still working just as hard for them now as when you started out.

  • Don’t get complacent just because you know them! Remember it's still important to be professional and provide a great customer experience.
  • Staff changes over the years means the relationship will inevitably shift. Make sure you meet new key players quickly to minimise any 'itchy feet'.
  • If the organisation grows, remember to grow the strategy with them.
  • Don’t forget to upsell your services. Long-term clients may forget about all the different services that you do. Don't forget to remind them!

Thank you to all our clients over the years :) We hope to be seeing many of you for years to come!