This guest post from Hayley Scott offers some advice on how to keep your clients happy.
Business leaders around the world are tasked with not only maintaining operations, but also keeping the supporters of their products and services satisfied. Although this is a common staple of business, the way our marketplace works has become increasingly automated over the last several years. Personalized communication has been swept under the rug in place of robotic emails and standardized outreach.
While new age methods can surely increase the volume of communication and production, the true essence of business is being lost in translation. The lack of personality in business can be detrimental to client retention. With how large and competitive the global marketplace is, it’s never been more critical for business leaders to keep their clients happy. There are some specific ways to accomplish this that are listed below.
1. Show them you’re a real person.
Even if your business practices are sound and your clients are satisfied in principle, it’s still important to connect with them on a personal level. A true working relationship, particularly in situations where a loyal client is involved, requires a large step back from the automated society we live in.
Pick up the phone and close the inbox. If you’ve got a great customer, give them a call. Even if it’s a normal expectation within the partnership that you communicate by email, a personal phone call can work wonders in keeping a client satisfied. It makes them feel like you actually appreciate their business.
For those clients that are really extraordinary, a flight out to their headquarters is a great way to show reciprocal interest. Wining and dining them on the other side of the country may cost your company some money up front, but it could result in a long term agreement with the client or even spark interest from other interested parties.
Key issue: Show your clients that you are a real person and you appreciate their business. Performing a good service or providing a quality product is the first step, and showing you care is the last.
2. Give something back.
Most people respond well to gifts, and the idea holds true within the standard business model. Not only is it important to provide a great service or product to your client, it’s a nice gesture to give them a gift once in a while.
Let’s pretend that you run a chain of hotels in the Rocky Mountains. You own one in Boulder, one in Crested Butte and two more in Vail. The supplier of all the art within the hotel rooms is provided by an art gallery in Seal Beach, California. This hypothetical gallery has provided you with similar-themed, high quality art during the development of your hotel chain across Colorado. You want to let them know that you truly appreciate them.
A hypothetical idea would be to send out personalized backpacks to the small group of artists that contribute to the gallery in California. The backpacks could have your logo on them and would not only provide a nice token of appreciation, but also a legitimate opportunity for company branding. Each time the item is used, the artists, as well as the public, would be exposed to your logo. This reminds them of your giveaway while simultaneously creating a unique group of brand endorsers that support and promote your business message in public. These items help people physically feel your company outside of the services you provide. The visibility created by imprinted items is invaluable and limitless, as the lifespan of the outreach continues as long as it’s being used.
Key issue: Loyal clients should be rewarded. Like other situations in life, even a small gift can feel special. It’s no different in business and the gesture will not go unnoticed. Not every company provides their dependable clients with a custom backpack. Happy clients equal better business
While modern business is arguably more efficient than it’s ever been, there are still noticeable shortcomings of new age strategies. Personal touch cannot be compromised when long term business is considered because clients are too precious. It’s important to provide a genuine service while also letting those that support you see and feel they are appreciated.
Hayley Scott is a writer and graphic design aficionado that loves Thai food, specifically green curry. When she’s not sketching a new logo design she writes for HALO Branded Solutions, a leader in custom backpacks and other promotional items.