Your clients are important; are you showing them enough appreciation?
Believe it or not, we are already into the second half of February, and Valentine’s Day has passed. Hope you had a good one. It is always delightful to dedicate time to celebrate love and friendship with the important people to us.
Yes, the first ones that come to my mind are my family and friends. With a loss of a few loved ones this past year, we are more grateful for those who remain.
I was talking to my assistant recently and going through the history of some of my clients. I have worked with many of these clients for YEARS! We have become friends and have gone through gains and losses together.
Sometimes my clients email me in shorthand. I know what they mean, but my assistant has no idea. I had to chuckle as I explained the code. The conversation reminds me that I have fantastic clients and love working with them. Today, let’s look at some ways client appreciation is vital in your business.
Here are three thoughts to provoke you, two ideas to inspire you, and one item to act on!
Three Thoughts to Provoke
Number One. Finding gratitude.
A few years ago, I wrote a post, 3 Ways to Develop a Gratitude Attitude in Your Business. In the post, I discussed how many adults tend to pursue new job opportunities because they feel under-appreciated or under-valued.
Do you need to develop an environment in your business culture that promotes gratitude and builds loyalty? Do your clients experience your appreciation and trust?
Build trust with your clients by acknowledging when they have gone the extra mile for you. Take the time to express thanks and care. Check your mindset. Be looking for the glass half full, rather than the glass half empty. Look for ways to build up the relationship and not tear it down.
Number Two. Feeling gratitude.
I love to read! Learning about new topics gives insights into my professional life. Learning makes me feel confident in my work and advising clients on current issues.
In writing this article, much research went in to learn about gratitude. The quote from Melody Beattie reminds us of why gratitude is essential.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
That is how I feel about my clients. It is why I want to shower them with gratitude and appreciation. I have taken their business chaos and turned it into order. In the meantime, they have become my friends.
Amazing clients bring joy into my life. I am grateful they are in my life, sharing milestones with them and helping them build their success.
This phrase sums it all,
Keeping you on the path to success! – Lisa Olinda
Number Three. Expressing gratitude.
William Arthur Ward wrote many inspirational maxims. Today let’s look at,
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
In that sense, gratitude is like love. You can love someone deeply, but if you do not communicate that love, they can feel neglected. That is why expressing your gratitude is so vital!
How can I express gratitude to my clients?
I have weekly calls with most of my clients. I love to engage with them, ask questions, and find out more about what makes them tick. During our meetings, a casual conversation with them allows us both to take a breath and get to know each other better.
Several years ago, I traveled to Canada and was walking through an open-air market. There was a marvelous Canadian photographer who displayed some beautiful photos. I purchased copies of the images, and then when I returned to the States, took the time to carefully, hand frame each photo, prepare it attractively, and send it to them for Thanksgiving. My goal was for my clients to feel my appreciation for them. Each image reflected my client’s values and personality. I have a client who still talks about her photo and how much she loves it.
Two Things to Inspire
Number One. Think about your notable clients.
Let me share an African proverb with you.
Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.
This proverb reminds me of the journey I have taken with my clients. Some have put me through rigorous tests, exciting projects, and tasks requiring me to learn new skills and tools.
I have not always had smooth seas with clients. Mistakes have been made and misunderstandings to work through. There have been tears and frustration on my part. These tests have allowed me to turn breakdowns into breakthroughs, and I have learned the most with these clients. I appreciate their patience, understanding, and nudging over the years.
Number Two. Nurture your Customer experience
Are you nurturing your clients? Amanda Gruup, Upland Software, says in her article, 7 Ways to Show Your Customers You Care,
A positive customer experience is crucial to customer renewals and to building a customer advocacy network to sing your praises to other potential customers.
Conversely, a negative customer experience will result in lost customers, revenue, and public image.
Positivity starts with appreciation. Take opportunities to encourage your clients. It may be that their fourth password reset request has frustrated you! Breathe, pause for a minute, and think of ways to solve their problem.
I often record unique videos for clients who struggle with a tool. This extra time and attention turn negative issues into a positive solution.
Your Action Item
I often send Valentine cards and notes of appreciation to my clients to celebrate our friendship in a more personal way. Nevertheless, showing appreciation and gratefulness is not bound to only specific dates and celebrations! You can write a message to your clients and tell them why you are thankful for them at any time. It can be a handwritten note or even an email.
As you make time to get new clients and grow your network, make sure to dedicate time to your existing clients and nurture those relationships. Be personal and let them know how much you appreciate them and value them as a person, not just as a paycheck.