Small Business Client Retention Tips

A fellow drain cleaning contractor shares suggestions for a client-centered approach to running a business: “If you take care of your customers, they’ll take care of you.”
Small Business Client Retention Tips
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Drawing in new customers while holding onto existing clientele is a constant — and growing — challenge for any business, but there are strategies you can implement to help make this part of your regular practice. Many approaches are less expensive and complicated than you might think. 

Shaylin King, owner and operations manager of Mr. Rooter of Tri-Cities in Benton City, Wash., has seen success — including a repeat customer rate ranging from 65 to 75 percent — while providing plumbing, drain cleaning, sewer repair and replacement, and septic pumping services. 

He shares tips that can help you benefit from taking on a client-centered approach to your work. 

Make a positive impression

First impressions can create a lasting effect. This in mind, King pays careful attention to the manner in which phone calls are fielded. “It’s the first human contact with our company, so we’re very specific in the way we want to handle that,” he says. 

It’s important to realize that customers probably aren’t having a great day when they’re calling in for help, King says, so his staff members emphasize an upbeat, positive approach that exudes a desire to address any issues and find a way to help turn a customer’s day around. 

Exceed expectations

“You can spend all the money in the world to get customers,” King says. “But if you don’t take care of them properly it’s money that you’re basically throwing away. You really have to make sure that you are meeting and exceeding customer expectations when they do call on you.” 

And as King points out, going above and beyond doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. “We do a complete plumbing checkup and if there are minor things to be taken care of we’ll do so at no additional cost,” he says. This might range from replacing a bad faucet aerator to cleaning out a pop-up assembly if it’s full of hair. 

While this will take on a different look and feel depending on the specialties of your own business, impressing others by going the extra mile not only helps retain satisfied customers but also spurs word-of-mouth referrals that attracts new clients. 

Follow up and take care

After completing a job, King and his team call customers back to verify that they did, in fact, have a high-quality customer experience. If there happens to be an issue, it provides an immediate opportunity to address and resolve it. 

“It’s kind of a cliché, but if you take care of your customers, they’ll take care of you,” King says. “That’s what it really comes down to.”

To read more about King's drain cleaning business, visit


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