Seven Ways to Show Your Clients They Are Appreciated

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….

 

 

Labor Day 2016: The Value of Work

Labor Day 2016: The Value of Work

Work. Nothing happens without work. Work allows our families, community, and society to function. May you and your loved ones find opportunities…to do what needs to be done…ideally, doing something you love.

May we all pause on this Labor Day to appreciate the value of work, whether as employee, business owner, manager, home maker, or another role. For those who provide financial support for themselves and their families, may you find stable, sufficient employment throughout your lives. We hope you have a job, or soon will, where you are appropriately compensated, and can ultimately earn a living wage, and then one that provides you financial security. For those who work in other ways, running a home and raising children for example, know that your work is essential too, and may those around you make it clear that your work is valued. Many of us must do both to get by — for those who do, our hope is that you have the energy, health, and tenacity to handle the load.

May young people find their way as they approach their future. Stay flexible in your quest, alert to opportunities, and focused on your goals. Learn all you can from school, through mentors, internships, or apprenticeships, and on your own. Know, though, that one also needs to learn how to work…it takes practice. Do your best at whatever work you do, at every level. Do a good job, not just the minimum required.

If you are unemployed, underemployed, underpaid, or facing other challenges, we hope you are able to find what you need soon.

The path to work is not always smooth. Perhaps it never is, and never was. But nothing happens without work.

Here’s to all those who do everything they can through work to improve the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the USA…and Canada, as well. Thank you for your labor. Have a Happy Labor Day, and a year ahead in which your work may somehow be not just sustaining, but appreciated, and even fulfilling.

Encourage Your “Intrapreneurs” to Innovate!

Encourage Your “Intrapreneurs” to Innovate!

Are you trying to grow your business, and seeking ideas on how? Why don’t you give your staff the ability to be “intrapreneurs”? Most of us are familiar with the term “entrepreneur” but may not have thought about its internal parallel. An “intrapreneur” is someone who takes the initiative inside your company to create an idea and “turn the idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation.” (Pinchot University, 2015.)

Many staff members may feel as though their ideas would be rejected, or even looked down upon, if they openly communicated them. And some of the most promising intrapreneurs are naturally humble, quiet, and internalize their thoughts. They may only need your invitation and reassurance to fully participate!

As a business-leader, you are an entrepreneur…and understand the innovative mindset. Consider, though, that you can learn a lot from your staff. Have brainstorming sessions and allow your employees to freely communicate their ideas. Such sessions can benefit your firm by increasing employee morale as well as allowing you to receive direct feedback about the company’s procedures and strategies in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

If you communicate to your employees that all opinions are not only welcomed but encouraged, you are inviting your “hidden” intraprenuers to contribute to the growth and profitability of your company, while also building intellectual capital within your firm.

According to Pinchot University, “innovation is necessary if an organization wants to grow or stay competitive.” Allow your employees to be creative with their ideas and follow them through to implementation. This true empowerment can give your brand a new boost that you may never have thought of as an employer. Be supportive, be open, and be reassuring to your intrapreneurs. You may just be surprised with the outcome!

Have you thought about new ways to grow your business? We have….

Pinchot University (2015). Retrieved at http://pinchot.edu/what-is-intrapreneurship/

Happy employees = Satisfied Customers!

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.” Author Unknown

“If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself.” J W Marriott

“Treat employees like they make a difference, and they will.” Jim Goodright

We have all seen these types of motivational quotes on posters on office walls – or as memes on social media – but how many employers truly take this to heart? It’s no secret that most people enjoy recognition for their efforts, but could that recognition actually benefit the employer? Studies say, “Yes.”

“Research found that in organizations where recognition occurs, employee engagement, productivity and customer service are about 14 percent better than those where recognition does not occur.” (Bersin, 2012.)

With that said, how can you recognize your employees to get the greatest results? The best ways we’ve found are recognizing potential, effort, and achievement.

  • Involve your employees in the decision-making process. Listen to their ideas, and acknowledge their efforts in the day-to-day matters at hand.
  • If your employee works extra hard, and extra smart, point it out. Show the employee that you see this hard work and efficiency, and recognize the employee; and then promote accordingly.
  • Put your money where your mouth is. If you have exceptional employees, pay them for their worth.
  • Hold staff appreciation days. If your employees are working particularly hard on a project, or just finishing up their busy season, give them a day of recognition. A pizza party, a company picnic, an early day off from work…anything you can do to raise morale. Show them that they are valued, and worth your recognition.

Great customer service stems from happiness in the workplace. Parkland Securities, LLC scored a 9.6 out of 10 for their operational support and services by their representatives in the WealthManagement.com “2016 Independent Broker/Dealer Report Card”, and this was no fluke. Parkland follows the above steps to create a happy workplace, filled with employees who feel appreciated…and it shows!

Have you thought about appreciating your employees? We have….

New Bersin & Associates research shows organizations that excel at employee recognition are 12 times more likely to generate strong business results. (November 7, 2012.) Retrieved from Bersin at http://www.bersin.com/News/Content.aspx?id=16023.

 

 

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