Where is the Love?
February is Love Month, and I have a question for you. Are you showing the love? No… I am not talking about loving your sweetheart, or showering your kids with affection, I am talking about your clients. And not the crazy stuff you do to attract new clients, but rather the stuff you do to acknowledge your current clients.
When was the last time you did something really special to show the clients who have been supporting your business that you really care? Have you celebrated your client relationships lately, or have you started to … dun dun duhn… take them for granted?!?
Like any great relationship, your client relationships need to be nurtured. Clients that feel cared for are significantly more loyal, and more likely to refer, than ones that feel ignored. If this is all foreign to you, take heart; it is never too late to celebrate your clients, and I have a few ideas for you to consider.
The Element of Surprise
Although it is nice to receive a gift or a card on an anniversary or other day of note, it is even better to receive something out of the blue. Make it a point to get in touch with your clients when they least expect it, and in ways that delight them. Send flowers, a hand-written card, or maybe even deliver a tin of coffee to a client that you know has a preferred blend. These kinds of gestures go a long way towards showing your clients that they are important to you.
Make it a Date
This one comes straight from Michael Vickers’ book, Becoming Preferred (p. 118-9), where he suggests taking your client to lunch at a restaurant you have contacted ahead of the event. The table is reserved, the client’s favorite drink is waiting, the arrangements have been made for the bill to be settled by credit card, so that all the client needs to do is relax and enjoy. At the end of the meal when the client starts to look for the bill you can tell them it has been taken care of because “you are my guest”. That’s exceptional treatment!
One of the nicest things we can do is simply to ask our clients how they are doing, and more importantly to ask what more you could be doing for them. How could you serve them better? Is there something more you could offer? What would improve their experience with you, even if it is just by a bit? Being open to receiving input from your clients (and then implementing it!) not only shows that you care what they think, but it also makes your clients feel more connected to your business and creates an attitude of ‘Team’.
It’s the Little Things
Going above and beyond, taking the time to thank and acknowledge your community is a habit worth setting, and not just because it generates good will and fosters loyalty. Feeling and expressing gratitude is powerful way to deepen all of your relationships. And who doesn’t want more of that in their life?!
So what steps will you, or do you, take to keep the love alive in your client community? How do you make your clients’ hearts sing?