Nashville Business Journal Leadership Trust
Various article content provided by Kedran Whitten
Kedran Whitten is cofounder of Brand825, a full-service marketing and creative agency that is passionate about building successful brands.
In good and bad times alike, a business should always make its customers feel valued. If you show your customers that you appreciate not just their business but also their well-being and needs, they will be more likely to continue using your products or services. Conversely, if you get complacent and neglect your client base, they’re more likely to move on to another company.
Fortunately, demonstrating your appreciation doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. Small gestures can go a long way in building trust and loyalty. The members of Business Journals Leadership Trust share 16 simple things you can do to make your customers feel valued.
1. Keep communication flowing.
We never believe or accept all is “right and OK.” Continuous communication is needed to demonstrate and foster a partner relationship whereby a collaborative process is maintained. Intelligent interaction beyond “just getting the sale” is honest, deliberate and open activity whereby knowledge is shared and trust built. “I didn’t think of you” is a tragic phrase coming from customers and clients. – Victor Macri, The VMJR Companies
2. Ask how they’re doing.
Asking clients how they’re doing — genuinely asking, with no sales agenda — is a little thing that can go a long way to show how much you value them and their business. Investing in a relationship with the people who put their trust in you and your product not only builds the foundation for a lasting partnership but also ultimately enables you to provide a much better client experience. – Cristine Rankin, Entrusted Advisors
3. Deliver bottom-line results, and ask questions.
We ask our clients three questions. What do your customers need first? Is there anything we can accelerate together? How can we be a better partner? We believe that partnerships that speed resolution and add value are required. Delivering bottom-line results to clients quickly makes them feel valued and extends our relationships. – Paul Herring, 101 Solutions LLC
4. Connect on a personal level.
Remodeling someone’s home is a very personal experience, and we learn a lot about how each family lives in their home to best provide solutions for them. Getting to know folks on that level and helping them improve their lifestyle makes us a valued team to our clients. So, in short, it is important to connect on a personal level and understand our customers, which leads to friendship. – Eddie Casanave, Distinctive Remodeling, LLC
5. Tailor strategies to their unique needs.
Each client relationship we have is built on trust and collaboration. And this begins with listening. We listen to what the client’s challenges, pain points, goals and objectives are to build the foundation for their marketing strategy. Each client strategy is customized and tailored to their business needs. The value is shown throughout the collaboration process and ultimately in the results. – Kedran Whitten, Brand825
6. Make sure they’re comfortable with decisions that have been made.
In real estate, I want my customers to know that I value them and their hard-earned dollars. I often tell my customers, “I want you to feel 100% comfortable with this decision.” Oftentimes, buyers and sellers feel pressured to move in one direction or another. While I am adept at giving data-driven advice, I never want to push my customers into an uncomfortable situation. – Christen McCamie, Nesta Real Estate Consultants
7. Offer to refer business to them.
One of the best tools we have to let our clients know we value them is our ability to refer them to others in our business networks. When we write an email to a client asking if we may connect them with someone in need of their services, they remember it. – Kevin Paul, Range PC
8. Share information they can use.
Companies, customers and employees are all feeling quite vulnerable right now. Send your customers information that is valuable to them — such as an article that is relevant to their business — to let them know that you understand their business and their challenges right now. They will remember you more for that than for a sales call. – Debra Young, Sheer Velocity, LLC
9. Offer payment flexibility during uncertain times.
Reach out to your customers and create a partnership approach to addressing the current crisis. Offer flexibility in payments or even free services for long-standing clients until they get their Paycheck Protection Program funding. We even did webinars to outline the PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs for our customers to help them get the money quicker. Be a resource in a sea of chaos! – Matthew Palis, Infront Webworks
10. Ask specific feedback questions.
Many times clients are preconditioned to tell you that things are fine, regardless of how they actually feel. To be in a better position to continuously make improvements in your product offering or service models, try asking them, “What’s one thing you would change about our office if you could?” With this specific feedback, irrespective of the answer, clients will feel more heard and valued. – Jeff Higgins, Partners Wealth Management
11. Send handwritten, personalized notes.
I like to send my clients handwritten, personalized notes that let them know that I genuinely care about them (because I do). We also send their families gifts on their behalf to help create delightful interactions for anyone who works with us — whether client or prospect — because when they succeed, so will we. – Zain Hasan, NICG, A Risk Strategies Portfolio Company
12. Keep an eye out for news about them.
Listen in different ways! Set up Google Alerts for your clients, and when good news or a simple mention pops up, reach out to acknowledge it and ask how they’re doing. And don’t forget to turn off the “selling” every now and then. Be human by simply asking how they’re doing or what they’re looking forward to most after a big project ends. – Beth Waterfall, Beth Waterfall Creative
13. Provide your personal contact information.
One of the ways we show our clients they are valued is to provide them with our personal phone numbers and let them know they can contact us any time, day or night — even on holidays — if there is something they need or if there is an emergency. And every team member knows to respond as quickly as possible. – Scott White, BizCom Associates
14. Thank them for their continued business.
I find a simple, “Thank you for your continued business, we know you have other choices and we value the relationship we have” works nicely. I think that stability and established trust in a business relationship goes a long way, and it is especially important in a challenging economic climate such as the one created by the current Covid-19 pandemic. – Dustin Hopson, Synergeer Engineering
15. Check in regularly.
A policy of simply checking in with a customer to see how things are going or if they need anything goes a long way — especially if they actually do need something and haven’t had the time to request it. It shows them that you’re on top of things and you value their business. – Guy Floyd, Creative Custom Builders
16. Ask them for help.
Whether it’s a testimonial or just asking their advice, asking for help is a sign of respect and an indication of how much you value their views, skills and abilities. Asking your clients to invest in your success as a person and as a business partner demonstrates, in a meaningful way, just how much you value their relationship. – Michael Ellenhorn, Decipher
Link to article on NASHVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL.