Seven Ways to Show Your Clients They Are Appreciated
Regardless of your business, catering to your clients is important. Customer appreciation does not always have to be an extravagant gesture or large event; in fact, the little things often prove to be the most valuable. Below are some ideas on how you can better build your relationships by showing your clients how important they are to you and your business.
- Surveys: To cater to your clients most effectively, first find out what they need and want. What are you doing that they like? What could you be doing better? Come up with a short survey and send it your clients via email. Take their suggestions to heart, and tell them so. Asking for client feedback shows that you truly do want to make them happy. When you can, act on their suggestion to reinforce your relationship. Give them credit for their idea among your other clients to strengthen the relationship even that much more!
- Acknowledgements: Put a system in place that alerts you to client birthdays as well as their anniversaries with you as clients. Send clients hand-signed birthday cards to show that they are more than just numbers to you: they are your friends. A card is also a nice way to thank a client each year that the client is with you. On their milestone anniversaries (systematically every 5 years, for example), send a little something extra. You might send a box of candy, a set of golf balls, or a bookmark. With a bit of creativity, and your knowledge of what they like, you can share a fairly inexpensive gift that shows you appreciate them and their business.
- Special Occasions: Have you heard that your client has just had a baby or their grandchild has been born? Did a customer’s father pass away? Acknowledge these events and be present when appropriate. Celebrate the great times with a congratulatory call, card, or share a happy lunch. Express your consolation in times of loss. On sad occasions, if you cannot physically be there for your client, send a nice bouquet of flowers or a basket of finger food. Locate the death notice and make note of any special request. At times, a donation to a specific organization is requested in lieu of flowers. Your contribution will indicate your care and attentiveness.
- Welcome Packets: Client welcome packets are not a new concept, but making the welcome packet special often gets lost in the shuffle. In addition to the standard items, try including something a little different. Options to add into a folder or envelope to make your client feel appreciated, and set you apart as unique, might be things like a packet of wildflower seeds, a money clip, or a smartphone screen protector. Little extras that could be included are endless, and with some imagination (and a few Google searches), you can find something memorable for new clients who are sure to appreciate the gesture.
- Events: Not everyone is able to provide an event for their customers, but if you are able to, our advice is to do it. Holiday parties are nice ways to get everyone together and celebrate. You could hold such an event at your home to avoid extra expense. Bring your clients together for food, drinks, and fun to show your appreciation.
- Shout-outs: With your client’s pre-approval, give them a shout-out on social media or in your newsletter to show them how much you appreciate them. By sharing a client’s good news, such as a birth announcement, a new job, or purchasing a new home, a client may feel closer to you, leading to new referrals. Also, by “tagging” your client in social media, friends of that client will see the acknowledgement and may be impressed with your customer service and attention.
- Follow-ups: Nothing shows your appreciation more than following up with your clients on a systematic basis. Calling just to see how they are doing, remembering special events in their lives, and offering your assistance when they are not expecting it are some of the best ways to express your appreciation to your clients. Keep your lines of communication open and provide personal customer service to deepen your relationships, especially nowadays when customer service is so important. Sometimes the biggest gift that you can give someone is the gift of listening, which costs you nothing
Although each industry is different, basic customer appreciation can go far regardless of the job. When your clients feel like friends not just customers, your deeper relationships could lead to more business, both from your clients and from referrals from satisfied customers. Don’t forget the little things; those little things are what keep people around.
Have you thought about showing your clients appreciation? We have….