I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and researching on how to improve client relationships. And what I’ve noticed is a decline in big business-kindness (what happened to greeting someone within 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds – greeting someone at all) and a significant shift in small business kindness (like baking biscotti and hand delivering it to over 50 clients for Christmas – a la Accentuate Home Design Group)
Yesterday, while spending some social time with one of my client’s, at the movies, she asked, “What kind of gestures can I make to acknowledge and appreciate my clients, without breaking the bank?”
Here was my response (I knew it would be easier in writing so I emailed her this list):
- Take cues from your personal life. Picking up the phone or sending a snail mail card can do a world of good in developing your client relationships.
- Show your friendly side
-walk with your client to their car because they forget their umbrella
-offer to find out information or pass a referral on – and then don’t forget to do it
- Share a heartfelt testimonial about your client using your Facebook and/or Twitter status.
- Remind them about important tasks or dates:
- Give a small token of appreciation:
-free gift with purchase
-work with your suppliers to give a special discount or gift card for their services
- Surprise your favourite clients with something unexpected and from the heart:
-movie tickets for a specific movie that they wanted to see
-a DVD or book specifically chosen for them
-pay for their babysitting so they can enjoy an evening out with their spouse hand deliver their favourite food and enclose a hand written note
The moral of the story is we can create an EXPERIENCE for our clients. It can be as simple as genuinely listening to their needs and feedback and genuinely acknowledging them as great customers.