15 Ways to Nuture Your Clients

15 Ways to Nuture Your Clients from Blue Flame Group

By: Blue Flame Group   09-Oct-2008
Keywords: Marketing, Business Planning

Unfortunately, most businesses seem to have a charisma bypass when it comes to communicating with their Customers. What would you rather have - a Customer or a friend who was also a Customer? Well, to have more friends in your business you must do more friendly things. Actually, it's all about the human touch, something that's often missing in our business dealings today. Your Customers are all human beings who have a wife or husband or partner, kids who don't listen, a mortgage that is too big, a house that's too small, a swimming pool that needs cleaning and a garden that needs weeding. They are concerned about their health, they like to laugh, eat out, go to movies and want to be happy, just like you. The more you treat your Customers as friends, more they'll talk about you and want to do business with you. You spend more time at work than at home, so make it fun for You, your Team, and your Customers who are also friends. So here they are, the amazing secrets of making friends with, and nurturing, your Customers. 1. Send Birthday Letters Everyone likes to be remembered on their birthday. Personal birthday letters are the easiest to implement. Why not send a little gift, but not tacky pens please. Maybe a gift voucher to a restaurant (one of your other Customers). The restaurant should give you the voucher Free or at least at a 60% discount, since it introduces a new Customer to them. Or a couple of movie tickets! Here’s what you could say in the letter: “There’s something special happening this month on the 24th. It’s your birthday! I’ll bet you knew …. So here is a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish from all of us at XYZ Company. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And, because it’s your birthday, I’d like to give you a special gift I have been saving for a special occasion just like this one”. Now you will probably find one of your associates thinks the Birthday Letter has been overdone, don’t listen to them - it works. 2. Make regular “How’s Things?” Calls Pick up the telephone for 15 minutes each day and call a Customer or two for no other reason than to say … “Hi, I just called to see how things are going”. When was the last time you call your Customers when you didn't have too? Your Customers will appreciate that you are thinking of them. It makes them feel that you really care. Do this regularly and you'll have so much business you won't know what to do it. 3. Send out Small Bags of Lollies or Jelly Beans Include a bag of lollies with your next document. Together with a handwritten note: "I thought you may like these, they are my favourites". Or get your team to include them with every document package with a note saying, "Here is little something for you to enjoy". You'll not believe the impact this will have on how many people remember you and like dealing with your business. When your Customers talk about you, they'll say: “My accountant, the one who sends these great lollies….” They'll keep them, they’ll eat them and when you forget to send them a packet they’ll call and ask where they are. Yes, this will happen! Try it. 4. Give Unexpected Gifts If you find marketing material, audio cassettes, a report on business that you like, send a copy of your Customers with a note saying, "I thought you'd enjoy this. I just finished reading this and it has got some interesting ideas". If you get large quantities of books, audio tapes, reports etc, you'll find the price you pay is reasonable and the goodwill it creates it well worth it. Invest in educating your Customers and they'll give you more business. 5. Send Christmas Messages With a Difference, or Messages at some other time of the Year instead of Christmas. Your Christmas card will get lost with dozens of others unless you do something different, something that will make your Customers talk about it and about you. It is far easier to create a conversation piece by sending a letter with a Christmas lolly and a bit of Christmas tinsel, than to do what everyone else does. Or you could send an inexpensive card and take the dollar you save and tape it to the card with the words: "Here's something you can give to your favourite charity, or make a small child happy". That's sure to get more attention, isn't it? 6. Send Lots of "Thank You" Letters We are giving you 7 different Thank You letter ideas here because they are so important, and they work so well, but so few businesses use them. After Telephone Contact: Really enjoyed speaking with you today, and will follow up on the details we discussed. Thanks again for your time. Face-to-face contact: Thanks for coming to see us yesterday. We look forward to working with you more in the future. After a demonstration of presentation: Thanks for taking the time to review the products that we can offer you. We'll give you a call a couple of days time to answer any further questions you may have. Thanks again for your time. After purchase: I’d like the thank you for purchase of the widgets from us today. We appreciate your business and we look forward to working with you again. Enjoy your day. For a referral: Thank you for your referral to Joe Bloggs. We really appreciate your efforts and we’ll ensure that we will look after Joe in the same manner that we look after you. To anyone who gives you great service: Thank you. I really enjoyed dealing with someone who provides me with great service. I really do appreciate it and will be happy to refer any of my friends who are looking for a similar product to you. Anniversary thank you: You might not have noticed, but it is now in a year since you purchased your navy suit. I trust that you are still getting enjoyment out of it. We'll been contact when a new range arrives next month. Thank you for your business. These are put here as examples, to show you that is not that hard to think up a reason to send a Thank You note. Thank You notes or letters should be part of your overall Communication Strategy. 7. Make "Thank You" Telephone Calls As a variation to the "Thank You" letters and notes, you or your team could also pick up the telephone and thank your Customers in person. "Hi Kate, I just wanted to say thank you for taking care of your account so promptly. We really appreciate it". Do this and watch them pay even quicker next time! 8. Give your Customers Recognition Get photos of your Customers in their business or home, together with a written testimonial about the results they got using your products or services. Put these on your reception and office walls or in your shop. They'll be flattered and they'll talk to their friends about it. How do you get them to agree? Simply by saying: "John, I'd like to get a photo of you in your business and a testimonial if possible. If they turn out well, we may put them up in the front office where people can see them and promote your business at the same time". Who can refuse a “free promotion” for their business? 9. Give your Customers Awards Imagine getting the "Award for the Best Business in Australia"! How would you feel? Recognise your top 10, 20, or 50 Customers and send them an Award Certificate with a letter saying: Dear Sue, the other day I was going through our records and I realised that you are one of our top 10 Customers. We really appreciate your business. That's why we want to give you the Top Customer Award Certificate that is enclosed with this package. I look forward to seeing you soon". We all like to get awards, trophies and certificates. If you are a member of a sporting club or play sport in a team or individually, you'll know that awards are the reward for good performance. It's the same in business. Give awards to your Customers, they’ll love you for it. 10. Hold "Top Customer" Lunches An other way to give recognition and keep in touch with your good Customers is to have a "Customers" lunch, with a guest speaker on an interesting topic, and ask them to bring a friend. Send a Thank You letter following the lunch and offer their friends free consultation. Here's what your invitation could say: "Good morning Simon, I'd like to invite you to our Top Customers lunch, which will be held at The Blue Duck, and …. It’s free! It’s our way of saying thank you for your business. There will be speaker for about 20 minutes speaking on a topic I'm sure you'll be interested in. You're welcome to bring a friend or business associate. Just let Julie know when you book". The lunch spread doesn't have to be lavish, your Customers will just appreciate that you are doing it, and they are invited. 11. Let Your Customers In on How You do Things Next time a Customer comes to your office, show them around. Explain to them what the various people in your office do. When presenting an account to a Customer, itemise what you did and explain the details. You'll find that if you justify your account to the Customer with good explanation, you won't have a problem with unhappy Customers who go elsewhere. 12. Educate Your Customers The more you educate your Customers through seminars, newsletters, reports, books and in your letters, the more they’ll want you do for them. The reason is that you are showing them that you are knowledgeable and good at what you do. The more highly they think of you the more they trust your advice. 13. Ask your Customers for Feedback on Your Performance The best way to continually improve is to send out Customer Feedback forms every 6 to 12 months. This is covered in more detail in the Customer Auditing section. As a reminder, for the most useful feedback, simply asked these questions: How can we improve our service to you?What else can we do to help you in your business?What you like the best about a business?What you like the least?What seminar topics would you be interested in? Remember, Customer perception is the reality. You may think you are doing a great job, however if your Customers don't agree, you have to change or you will lose them. 14. Become a Central Information Resource Develop a library of videos, cassettes, CDs, books etc that affect your Customers. Make these available to your Customers on loan. Or better still, have a secure section on your web site that holds a library of information that Customers can download or review. Have this as part of your Loyalty program by providing them with a special password to gain access to the section. 15. Get your Team Involved Ask them for ideas on how to implement some of the strategies detailed here and to come up with additional ideas for serving your Customers better. Give them the authority to create the systems which will make sure that everyone gets thanked, and gets a lolly or 2 with a friendly note. Always remember, that it is the different members of your Team that have the day-to-day contact with your Customers. They often have great ideas, but don’t offer or explain them until they are asked.

Keywords: Business Planning, Marketing