No More Fruit Baskets: Showing Your Clients Gratitude in 2019
November 20, 2018
Each year, around this time, we’re reminded of all the reasons we have to be thankful. Here at HighRock, we take the time to reflect on the gratitude we have for our clients. They give us the opportunity to do what we love, every single day. With every project, we get the chance to learn and grow as a team, both internally (amongst each other) and externally (with our clients). Over the years, one of the most important things we’ve learned is the importance of showing appreciation for our clients. Since this week brings a unique opportunity to show your gratitude, I’ve put together my go-to list of effective, un-canned ways to really show your clients how much you value the relationship you have with them.
- VIP treatment: Hosting a “VIP” event with no hidden agenda or promotion is a great way to bring your clients and your employees together in a pressure-free environment. The holidays provide a fantastic platform to host an appreciation event. If you don’t have budget for a large event – consider hosting a happy hour or inviting clients to your company’s holiday party. Either option can make them feel important to you and involved in your company on a personal level.
- Consider utility. When you’re planning and budgeting for your client gifts, consider gifts that you would be excited to receive. Instead of offering platonic discounts or tchotchke items that will find a home in the trash can, go for items that have utility. A favorite among our clients is a sleek, hardcover, spiral-bound notebook. When purchasing, consider design. Clients will get more use out of items that are non-branded or lightly branded, rather than covered in your logo. You want your clients to use your gift; instead of thinking of it as a branding tool, consider it a personal tool for building relationships.
- Make it personal. The era of the canned, mass email is over. This year when you’re sending holiday messages to your clients, strive for handwritten cards. It’s important to demonstrate that you are personally invested in your relationship with each client and a personalized, hand-written message conveys just that. If you really don’t have the time to handwrite each card, try to include some personalized element in each message.
- Sing their praises on social media! Shouting out your clients’ accomplishments or products and services on social media is a quick and easy way to show appreciation for them. Not only does it convey your attentiveness to their brand, it also provides the client with some free marketing! Consider “liking’ and “sharing” posts directly from their social pages. We all love when clients show appreciation for our work – why not do the same for them?
- Be a person, not a business transaction. In the course of doing repeated business with someone, you develop a personal relationship with them. No matter what role you play, some of your contacts may experience major life events. Whether it’s a joyful (the birth of a child, a promotion, etc) or a tragic (death in the family, etc) event, a personalized gift in response to important moments shows your client that you care about them. Instead of sending the tired fruit basket, choose something unique that represents an aspect of your relationship with your client. Paying attention to the human aspect of your business is what makes you stand out. Don’t ignore that.
- Offer a helping hand. Word of mouth and personal referrals go a long way in the business world. If you trust a client’s work, don’t be afraid to recommend them to other clients or contacts that may benefit from their business. Your consistently building trust and allegiance within your client base.
- Always play the host. Clients should look forward to meetings at your office. If you’re hosting a morning meeting, spring for bagels, fresh fruit and coffee. Mid-afternoon? Make sure you’re always stocked with snacks and beverages. Clients should feel that you’re grateful to have them visiting and have prepared specifically for their arrival. At HighRock, we like to utilize the services of local businesses when entertaining clients, supporting the local community while providing our clients with a unique experience.
Looking for other ways to connect with your clients? Our strategic marketing team can help you. Contact HighRock for more suggestions on adding some personality back into your business plan.