Satisfied customers are loyal, but appreciated customers are even more so. The best way to make a customer or prospect feel appreciated is to do something that delights them. Most people tend to enjoy surprises, just so long as they benefit from them. By pleasing an existing or potential customer, you encourage them to enjoy the company’s work. It’s an incentive for them to come back to the business if they have any other work in the industry to get done.
But how does a company go about delighting its customer base? Here are some of the best practices a company can adopt to encourage a longstanding relationship.
1. Provide The Unexpected
Try to provide your clients with expertise beyond what is stated in the scope of the project, and surprise them with point of views and trends in their industry and what they should be planning for both the short and long term. Oftentimes, clients are busy and stretched as it is, and any way you can help push forward their business and alleviate any stress is important.
2. Celebrate With Them
Agencies tend to celebrate their own wins, not their clients’ wins. The client is unlikely to be excited by your new contract or award, but celebrate with them for a record month, extra lead volume or whatever you have in some way contributed to, and it puts you on their side. Celebrations can be small gifts, handwritten notes, or just taking the time to have lunch and brainstorm. Just celebrate!
3. Focus On Results And Clear Communication
Nothing keeps a client satisfied like favorable results! If the client sees a continued ROI and knows you’re on top of it, they’re more likely to become a long-term partner. Make it a priority to treat your clients the same way you like to be treated in a business relationship. Value clear communication, responsiveness and organized reporting. Doing it all with a smile goes a long way!
4. Be Present For Them
In today’s world where we all juggle competing demands of our time and attention, clients and prospects are delighted when they feel a real, singular focus on them as individuals and on the needs of their business. Genuinely attentive engagement enables understanding and responsiveness to the nuances of their challenges, and reveals unexpected opportunities to provide value over the long term.
5. Manage Expectations
While it may sound cliche, underpromise and overdeliver. More important than delighting a customer by agreeing to custom requests and accelerated timelines, make realistic commitments and then beat them. Also, keep your customer informed along the way of your progress in meeting those commitments so there are no unexpected surprises.
6. Solve A Pain Point Quickly
Clients often bring in a new agency to help them solve challenges they face. So quickly identify an important pain point, of the company or the key client partner, and help them solve it. Being the aspirin — rather than the vitamin — is the fastest way to delight a client and start to build loyalty to the agency and the team.
7. Make The Relationship About More Than Work
One of the way to surprise and delight prospects and customers is by connecting with them and making the relationship about more than just work transactions. It is important to take the time to forge a personal connection with your customers that goes beyond business and actually talk to them about their hobbies, families and other topics, and build a stronger relationship.
8. Send Genuine Personal Messages
One easy thing you can do is set a Google Alert for their company, or at least read their posts about current events in the company. When they make the news, send them a genuine personal message congratulating them. Clients want to know you have their best interests in mind, and showing you care about them and their company is a great way to do that.