Wooing and winning new clients is an art. But keeping current clients engaged is a skill. We often get bogged down by the busyness of completing client work and fulfilling client requests. So much so that we neglect the personal connection and lose touch with the heartfelt love we once shared.
Keeping the love alive, regardless if your client/coach relationship has been going on for several months or several years, only takes a few thoughtful gestures. Think more along the lines of delight and surprise versus shock and awe.
1. Remember Key Dates
Whether it’s a client’s birthday, anniversary or favorite holiday, if the client mentions a special date you have the opportunity to acknowledge it. Even a quick text or email letting them know that you’ve remembered a milestone, either personal or professional, joyful or otherwise, really shows that you care. Your thoughts and prayers are even much more appreciated during difficult times. And there are plenty of apps and aids to help including the simplest of Google calendars with reminders and notifications.
2. Cards & Handwritten Notes
This is one of my favorites because it’s so rare. When’s the last time you received a card in the mail…out of the blue? Talk about delight and surprise! This new year, I decided to create custom cards from Minted.com to acknowledge my clients and how much their relationship means to me. It took me hours even days to decide on the perfect card, shape, photo and more. The hundreds of designs are curated from independent artists from around the world, and the selection was more than I could have ever dream. When I was finally done, I had a masterpiece! I even included a custom url that directs my client to a special video I created just for them! If you haven’t checked out all of the beautiful goodness on their site, then you must!
3. Solicit Selfless Feedback
I know that for me, the times when customer feedback comes up the most is either when there is an issue that I need to resolve (negative feedback) or when I’m requesting a testimonial (positive feedback). Delight your customers (and help build your relationship) by asking what you can do to serve them better. It may catch them off guard simply because they may not be used to the question. But it will go a long way to turn the table and put the focus on pleasing them.
4. Add Unsolicited Value
Your clients are looking for you to be an expert in your field, but also to be knowledgable about their business. Make it a point to keep your eyes open for articles and opportunities that may interest your client. If there’s a big announcement of a company merger in your client’s industry forward it along with a quick note. If I see a PR opportunity that fits my client (thought they haven’t hired me to do PR) I pass it along. It shows that their business is top of mind and that I want them to succeed…in all areas, not just the ones that I’m involved in.