If you can provide goods, services, knowledge, systems or advice that is indispensable, your clients will remain loyal for all times.
Now, you know you do that already right? But, maybe your clients don’t always appreciate how much you do for them. One way to make this principle work for you is to intentionally build features into your service that make you very hard to replace. In some cases, maybe replacing what you do could be such a hassle, nobody selling competing services can even get through the door.
- Data storage – offer to keep all of your clients data records
- Physical storage – warehouse and inventory product or assets for your clients
- Inventory – set-up a system that lets them know when they are running low on something – even something that you don’t provide
- Technology – set-up and maintain your client’s technology needs
- Referral – send business to your client
When you can naturally create and implement some element of your product or service that provides such a “set it and forget it” type of feature for your client, you have a tool to effectively keep the competition out.
Okay, so the flip side.
If you are facing such a situation, you must be able to demonstrate that the cost of switching to you will, in fact, be better than free. You have to show them that you can and will make the pain of changing go away, that they won’t even know it happened – and then of course you’ve got to set-up your own irreplaceability.