An annual client appreciation event is great, but…you can do better than that. Why wait to say thank you once a year? One of the most important components of your business plan and strategy is to continue to find ways to strengthen client relationships. Implementing this practice on a daily basis will set your firm apart from the competition and create an experience for your clients that won’t go unnoticed.
Financial advisors know a rule of thumb asserts, “it costs five times as much to attract a new client as it does to keep an existing one”. A comprehensive marketing plan will include a client a marketing strategy targeted towards existing clients. The benefits:
- Foster, strengthen and maintain relationships with your best clients
- Increase the percentage of wealth you manage for your clients
- Generate referrals
- Defend your position with competitors
In our blog, Foster-Strengthen-Maintain-Relationships Through Client Appreciation Events, http://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/foster-strengthen-maintain-relationships-through-client-appreciation-events/ , we reviewed strategies and ideas for holding client appreciation events. More importantly, let’s not forget the daily acts we can implement in our firms to escalate a continued expression of appreciation for our clients.
Is your firm currently practicing daily and random acts of appreciation with clients? If not, now is the time to start and if so, how can you take those acts to the next level?
Implement a client appreciation program by identifying the outcome.
The underlying success of your program hinges on the ability to create an authentic client experience. Client retention starts when your firm recognizes the fact that the client should be acknowledged, thanked and recognized for their loyalty and trust they have placed in your firm.
We all have a natural tendency to take things for granted. Don’t wait for pivotal moments to appreciate your clients. By showing daily appreciation to each client that you come in contact with, your firm will stay on the path of acknowledging the benefits each client provides and will cultivate positive thinking in your office.
To have an impact, you and your team must be inspired to say “thank you”, not compelled or with lack of passion. As you are developing your marketing strategy for 2013, incorporate ways to increase client satisfaction by using gratitude in your firm; e.g implement a Gratitude Project and track your successes.
Ironstone’s Top Ten Ways To-Thank-A Client
- Give a proper verbal greeting and farewell. Use names when you can and ALWAYS thank them for their business. Greet clients at the door – open the door for them when they leave.
- Write a follow up thank you note. Make sure to hand write the note and let them know you appreciate their business. It provides a personal touch and carries much more meaning than a typed letter.
- Make a phone call. With technology it is easy to get lazy. Call clients randomly just to say thank you.
- Make clients feel special. Learn your client’s passions and what makes them excited about life. People love to engage in conversation about their families, community contributions and their passions.
- Give clients a small token. Have freshly baked cookies in your office or hot chocolate on a cold day. Clients love token items, stock up on unique gifts that don’t cost a fortune- firm branded pens, pocket calendars, pencils, etc.
- Let them know they made your day. Face it, clients are our bottom line-appreciate any small thing about them each time you see them- and thank them. Tell them-“Thank you for making my day!”
- Introduce your clients. Give your clients a tour of your office. Introduce them to other staff. It will give them an inside look at the operations of your firm and establish connections with other team members.
- Host small “fun days”. Pick a day a month and declare it, “I’m Going To WOW My Clients Day.” You can choose different themes and plan accordingly. Keep it simple and fun – your clients won’t forget it and will probably share it with their friends. (Best practice idea; take a picture of your clients and mail it to them in a few days with a thank you note)
- Acknowledge their comments or suggestions. Let them know how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness and contributions. Call them or write to them if you implement a suggestion they have shared. What a great way to say thank you!
- Celebrate Life. Call clients or invite them to lunch or coffee on special occasions; birthday’s, anniversary’s, retirement, etc.
Insist that your team start practicing the art of gratitude. Be proactive as life happens rather than reactive when it may be too late. To remain in a client’s mind, your firm needs to be “in front of them” as often as possible. Your clients are giving you lots of opportunities to stay in their minds – let them know you appreciate them!
“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
We are curious!! What do you do at your firm to show appreciation to your clients? Let us know!
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