Most of us know to send a “thank you” note to show appreciation. We’ve learned to stay in touch with clients (thanks to reminder software in our BlackBerrys, Outlook and calendars.) And we know not to arrive empty-handed to a social event.
When times are stressful, how can we go above-and-beyond to thank clients who have sustained us, shown tolerance and loyalty, and referred others to us?
10 Ways to Show Your Clients Some Love:
1. Drop a handwritten note to a client for no specific reason! It is so exciting to get a note – interrupting your busy day – with just a brief message of appreciation. Maybe your client mentioned an important event coming up. Maybe they mentioned putting a parent into a nursing home. Perhaps you know their anniversary joining the company. A handwritten note speaks volumes.
2. Read a good book lately? Share the book with a client and save them going to the store and searching for it. Online booksellers deliver right to their door. What a nice surprise!
3. Invite them to join you at an important event. Not just to fill a seat, but because the event is important/valuable to them, too. If your client is passionate about animals, for instance, them to the Denver Dumb Friends League’s annual event.
4. Provide a personal referral. Make the introduction yourself and show that you understand their business, and their brand. You might even offer to host the breakfast meeting so the two new contacts can get to know each other.
5. Host a client appreciation event and offer a program of value. We recently held such an event for LIDA360 clients, and the response was overwhelming – clients and guests networked, socialized and listened to a program on brand development and stress management. The best comment received afterwards was: “This was so consistent with YOUR brand, Lida!”
6. Pick up the phone and “check in.” Even if your current project is going fine, or there is no current project with that client, calling is so much more personal than an email. Just check in and remind them you’re just a phone call away.
7. Have a company newsletter? Feature a client in every issue. Share information about your clients with other clients, or have them submit an article to share with your network. That is great exposure!
8. Recognize your client’s important company milestones – founding dates, IPO dates, relocation or expansion dates, etc. Send a basket or gift to the staff to acknowledge their collective hard work to achieve the milestone. This is above and beyond necessary, but leaves an indelible impression with the staff, as well as your client!
9. Host a lunch-and-learn event at your client’s office and bring in an expert. You might offer a leadership development program, brand empowerment workshop or communication training for your client’s staff. Let them know you are vested in their success as well.
10. Pay it forward. Make a donation in your client’s name to a charity you feel passionate about. This is a great way to connect clients to non-profits, and it shows your charitable side, and connection to the community.