We’re told that it’s not healthy to obsess over things, but my experience has taught me otherwise. Paying attention to details and small things when it comes to clients makes all the difference. The difference between being obsessed over clients and taking them for granted is the difference between retaining or losing them, or even getting referrals or getting negative word-of-mouth reviews. Being engaged with your clients makes them engaged with you. According to Gallup, customers who are fully-engaged represent a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth over the average customer. Client engagement isn’t magic but hard work. Therefore, here are my tips on how to keep your clients near and dear to your heart and vice versa.
1. Do what your clients need, not just what they ask for
It’s all about building trust. Your clients hire you because you are the expert in what you do. They may think they know what they want, but you know there is another solution that is better for them. Get out of the transactional mindset to constantly upsell. Instead, really spend time to think how to get them better results from your existing services. Show them that value and it will lead them to want more business from you.
2. Go the extra mile
Always give your clients more than they expect to get. At the end, we are all humans. We feel and think in very similar ways. If customers simply get what they expect to get from you, there’s really nothing that makes them stay with you. They see you as an “acceptable” or “OK” option. When they get more than what they expect, they trust you more, value your services more, and yes, love you more!
3. Admit mistakes and be honest
Warren Buffet told a story about his furniture store not having enough inventory at one point to meet unexpected customer demands due to internal management issues. He was honest with his customers that they would receive their orders late. Unexpectedly, most of them understood the situation and didn’t complain. Being consistently truthful and honest with clients, not offering excuses, will garner their trust, appreciation, and respect.
N.B.A. player Anthony Carter’s agent Bill Duffy made a $3 mistake yet his honesty saved the relationship to this day. Learn more.
4. Sweat the small stuff
Spoil your clients. Take them to lunch every now and then. Send them surprise appreciation notes, cards, and emails. Know their cultural holidays. Quit those formal emails and pick up the phone to say happy birthday or just ask, “how are you doing?” We are mostly emotional creatures even in a B2B context and that extra layer of attention goes a long way to let your clients know they are always at the top of your mind.
5. Show your value, often
We tend to forget. Remind your clients why they should stay with you. Be consistent in reporting your services, performance, and value. Make sure your services are making their company better every time. Keep them updated with your new wins, awards, recognitions, other customer testimonials, and anything that makes you proud. Be on the top of their minds. Be in their inbox consistently and frequently.