Recently, I attended a Client Appreciation Event hosted by Cornwall Business Machines, which inspired me to write this post.
This event is held annually, and I have attended the last 3 years. They go all out: limo pick up and drop-off, champagne & hors d’oeuvres, and a casino night.
It was a nice evening, and everyone seemed to have a great time. But what really stood out for me was that they greeted you at the door, rememberedeveryone by name and came around several times during the night to ensure that you were having a good time and that you had everything you needed.
So…. What can you do? While I am sure that events like these can be budget busters in some cases, there are things you can do to ensure your clients know they matter.
Send a thank you note at the end of the contract. Handwritten notes are rare these days. Thanking them for their business in this way will stand out. Along with the note (and, if budgets allow), send a gift, based on your product/service. We recently completed a Benchmarking Survey with meeting planners where we asked “what was a memorable way that suppliers reached out to them?” This came up a few times in responses, and I think it’s great!
Make a follow up call. Sounds simple, but initiating the satisfaction conversation before they come looking for you shows you care.
Repeat clients are great to have, but don’t assume they will come back in 2011 just because they have for so many years previous. Be proactive in delivering the most important message – they matter.
It goes a long way to ensuring that your relationships remain solid in the future.