How to Make Your Clients Feel Special
in Small Business Management on May 5, 2021Share with your friends or professional network
I hate to admit I was a little taken aback the first time one of my clients asked me how to make clients feel special. Apparently, they felt that way with me and wanted some intel. While the first thing that came to mind is “don’t be a jerk,” I knew there were actionable insights I could provide. It was and is an important aspect of growing a business. Customer retention is way cheaper than customer attainment. At a time when we get less in-person time with clients, we have to be more than just decent people, so besides that, try on some of these BE-attitudes.
- Be a good customer, and refer your clients. It’s no secret that referrals are the best source of new clients. According to a Wharton School of Business study, Referred customers are more profitable (25% higher profit margins than non-referred customers), less likely to leave (18% less likely to defect than non-referred customers), and they have higher lifetime value (16% higher than the average customer). Model the behavior you want to see. Become a customer and show them how special they are by making referrals to them.
- Be a good listener. Never assume you have it in the bag. You may have a great relationship with your clients, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they feel special. When you are on the phone with them or in their presence, do you give them 100 percent of your attention? Make sure to turn off all device notifications that may distract you when you are with a client. Everyone else can wait their turn.
- Be grateful. In his book, “How to Win Customers and Keep them for Life”, Michael LeBoeuf, quotes a study showing that 68% of customers leave a business relationship because of a perceived attitude of indifference on the part of an owner, manager or some employee. Thank you emails are certainly in order, but you should bring back a little old-fashioned etiquette and send hand-written notes on occasions you know may be meaningful to them. If you were a good listener, you probably know a few of their goals. As you grow and scale your company, use a software to keep track of special occasions, so you can continue to add that personal touch.
- Be responsive. With so many ways to communicate, it may seem like you are constantly switching between social media, email and the phone to answer questions or follow-up in some manner with your clients. Be communicative early on in your relationship to let your clients know the best way to reach you. And make it a rule of thumb to respond to all forms of contact within 24 hours. Remember we are talking about how to make clients feel special, so the less time that passes before responding, the better. Better yet, be proactive and call them!
- Be a feedback freak. Sometimes, you won’t need to solicit feedback. Your customers will give it to you, like it or not. Don’t ignore it. In an American Express study, Americans tell more people about poor service (15 people on average) than about good experiences. Unfortunately, while they are telling other people about their experiences with you, they may not have told you anything. Create a process for obtaining customer feedback on a regular basis. You may choose to make a phone call, or you may send an email or simple survey with Google Forms.
- Be humble and face the music. Nobody’s perfect, and your clients most likely don’t expect you to be perfect. (If they do, you might consider firing them). Clients deserve and expect you to address their concerns. In fact, in a study published on Moz, 64 percent of customers willingly reversed their negative reviews because the owner, manager or staff member proactively reached out to them with a remedy.
Making clients feel special may require some extra time on your part, but it’s time well spent.
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