With so many people willing to endure long lines at their favorite coffee shop or boycott companies that sell products they need, it could be argued that people don't buy products - they buy relationships.
According to the 2014 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, over two thirds of Americans are willing to spend 14% more of their hard-earned cash
with companies that deliver superior service. This number is up from 9% in 2010.
If you want to be one of those companies with superior service that people come back to, the best place to start is through building your relationships with your clients. 1. Stand out through fun personalisation
When people receive a greeting card in the mail from a company they do business with, it has a greater impact when that card is more than just a mass-market mailing personalised with someone’s first name. Holiday cards can be fairly standard and people know when they’ve received a card produced by a computer that automatically generated their first name from a mailing list.Personalisation is more than just a first name
If you have a relatively intimate client base, you may want to consider creating truly custom holiday cards to send out. This doesn’t mean you need to hand write each card and stamp it with a wax seal. You can create a beautiful, custom holiday card
through Smilebox and use personalised photos and messages to make it stand out.
The holiday season is a great time for you to show your clients that your staff has fun in the office. Include some photos of your staff in silly costumes, or have them bring in their dogs in funny costumes for a holiday party and take some photos. Who doesn’t love a photo of a dog wearing antlers? The more you can make your clients smile, the more they’ll remember your efforts.2. Maintain connections through powerful language
Let’s face it, most emails that are intended to establish an ongoing relationship are boring. This is because the language is boring and powerless. When you want to create a genuine connection with your clients, you have to do more than tell them you appreciate their business and that you’re looking forward to seeing them again soon.
If you’re already maintaining connections with your clients through periodic phone calls, there’s always room to amp it up a bit. Next time you call a client, rather than just chopping it up and letting them know you’re there for them, try asking them this simple open-ended question: “how can I support you?”
By asking your client how you can support them, you’re giving them the space to share freely and they will automatically feel supported
just because you asked the question. This turns the conversation from a sales call into a support call. Not many people do this so make sure you give it a shot and watch your clients shine.3. Send personalised gifts or offers
When you have clients who make specific purchases or subscribe to specific services, instead of sending all of your clients the same discounts and offers, tailor your offers for them. Personalised gifts
If you’re in an industry with high paying clients, consider sending them a personalised gift around the holidays or for their birthday. This is already standard practice in some industries. If it’s not the norm in yours, you can start a new trend, leaving your clients pleasantly surprised.4. Ask directly for feedback whenever possible
Feedback from clients is a wonderful way for you to know how you can adjust your systems in order to be even better. But it’s also an effective way to involve your clients in your business and make them feel like they are part of the team.
People always want to share their experiences with others, and sometimes they hold back when sharing experiences directly with a business. This might be because they’re convinced the business won’t take them seriously, and their opinion might not make a difference.
When you encourage and elicit regular feedback from your clients, they’ll share more than just what’s casually on their mind. In doing so, you may end up with valuable insight you can’t see from your position.
Kissmetrics has a great guide that discusses five ways to generate valuable customer feedback
if you’re looking for some fresh ideas.5. Be interested, not just interesting
When you do all the talking, you might be interesting to others, but it can get old. When you’re interested, however, you’re the one doing the listening and this actually makes you more interesting than when you’re telling your warrior stories. People want you to listen to them
more than anything else. And when you show up for others as someone who listens, they’re going to feel good around you. When you create a relationship with your clients where you do more listening than talking, your connection pretty much strengthens on its own. Nurture your relationships
Relationships take time to build and even more time to grow. When you take the time to plant the seeds and nurture your clients from day one, they’ll never forget it because, for many, personal connections have become a rarity. Be the business that stands out. Follow these tips and you’ll create magic with your clients.