As a freelancer/tasker, one of your main goals is impress customers, so they come back to you with future jobs, i.e. you want recurring, long-term customers who form the foundation of your business. This might sound easy to some, but it isn’t a case of ‘wowing’ in the bidding or interview process alone, you have to consistently impress customers, always maintain a high level of professionalism, hit targets, etc. One wrong move could lose a customer forever. Scary, right?
You may already have a solid customer base, and that’s great, you may not need to read any further than this. But for those just starting out on Taskenator, here are 5 tips on how to not just gain, but retain your customers.
Believe it or not, most people really struggle to ‘be human’ in interviews. This is prevalent around the world, in all industries. Interviewees get nervous, stiffen up and act almost cold when talking to potential bosses/customers. While being professional and well-mannered is crucial, it is also important to relax and let a little of your personality shine through. Give personal anecdotes where appropriate, offer a little insight to your life, mention your hobbies if one comes up in conversation, etc. A customer is much more likely to enjoy working with you if they have that personal connection and feel like you have a friendly personality. Not only that, but customers will be more likely to return to you for future work. Naturally, don’t over-do the friendly nature, or give too many details about your personal life; just a little ray of your natural personality shining through the professional outer shell.
Note: Honesty is also an important asset. If you are honest about your limitations, customers tend to be very appreciative; they know you will not promise something you cannot provide.
Sometimes, it isn’t enough to simply say you can do it all. Show them! Start to collate your past work to create a portfolio; something you can visually show your potential customers. A picture says a thousand words, and the same rings true with a portfolio. Talk about the challenges from your experience and how you overcame them. You are much more likely to be hired - and retained for future jobs - if you can show extensive experience in your field(s). Don’t promise them the world, give it to them. An added bonus to a portfolio is the time it saves; no need for tests or long descriptions!
Now, don’t go crazy and offer £3 per hour, that doesn’t do you, your work or your dignity any justice. Being flexible should never mean undercutting other bidders or underselling yourself. ‘Flexible’ means you should negotiate with potential customers to obtain a cost you both feel is appropriate and worthwhile. To retain your customers, you may wish to offer a ‘bulk price’ or reduced fee for long-term projects. As an example, you may offer a flat rate of £15 for a 1,000 word article to new customers, however, if a customer requests 10 articles, you may charge £125 (£12.50 per article). Again, do not undersell yourself. Customers want a quality end product and not just the cheapest quote.
Note: Take the national minimum wage into consideration when you offer services!
Aim to provide an exceptional service on your first sale. Potential customers will check your profile to see previous feedback of your work, so make sure that it starts off on a great footing. Paying attention to the details of a project is very important, so, make sure the project gets done according to the customer’s specification. This will help you to build a strong reputation, retain current customers and obtain new prospects!
Follow-up emails are an effective way to keep customers coming back for more. Remind them of who you are and genuinely enquire about their business - but do not be pushy or spam their inboxes with a multitude of emails. A follow-up email is not a sales pitch; make sure that your wording does not sound like one. It needs to sound personal and professional, but not naggy or desperate. Refer to tip 1, here!
You could, however, create a Call to Action at the end of your email to invite them to contact you if they need further assistance. Make this discreet, within the footer of your emails.
We hope you find these 5 tips useful. To obtain and retain customers, remember to be human, show your experience, be flexible, be amazing right from the start, and follow-up with customers via email after the project is complete. Most importantly, be honest, loyal, professional and consistent.