When small business owners talk about customer appreciation, the first thought that often comes to mind are gifts. While sending gifts can be a great way to encourage loyalty and appreciate your clients, it’s not the only method to nurture these valuable relationships.
Here are some ideas, outside of gifting, to help you become a customer appreciation superstar:
Staying Top of Mind
Out of sight, out of mind is not just an expression – it can easily become a reality. Being a business owner can be overwhelming and it’s way too easy to overlook loving on your people on a regular basis. However, not staying top of mind with your customers leaves the door wide open for another vendor or business to swoop in and take that opportunity to really build a solid, relationship. Loyalty and trust are earned and, if neglected, quickly transferred to someone else willing to put the effort in. This may mean finding a way to delegate some of the time-consuming tasks that are keeping you from being intentional and present with your clients.
Being a Giver
Being a giver isn’t just about gifts. Givers walk into the room with a heart of service, looking to support other people and make their day better. If there is always a tally involved for you to step up and give your time, energy or attention, then a mindset change needs to happen.
People are drawn to givers. Why? Givers don’t show up only looking to get something out of the experience. They don’t have the expectation that in order to give they must receive in return. There are no hidden agendas, spammy motives, or unfavorable conversations when you are interacting with a listener, a nurturer, or a giver. Anything you can do to show up for people with an intention to serve, will do wonders for you in terms of relationship building.
Invite Them Along
This technique isn’t as well-known but can be super effective if done in a generous way. If you have an upcoming event, function, or networking opportunity – this is a great moment to invite a client to come along with you and share the benefits! Not only is this a great way to give back, but it also sets you up to enjoy one on one time and get to know them.
As you look at each new year, ask yourself whether or not there are opportunities to collaborate with your clients. Can you throw an event together and both promote it to both your audiences? Can you team up on a project that will benefit you both? Collaboration is the glue that ties successful businesses together. No business is an island and your reach will be more expansion with there are more people working together.
Whatever you decide to do to appreciate your customers, just know that every touch and every conversation is building the relationship. Relationships breed loyalty, referrals, and word-of-mouth in ways that no other business connection can. Client appreciation is about more than saying, “Thank you.” It’s also about creating a connection that stands the test of time.
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.