3 Ways To Build Loyalty By Making Clients Feel Appreciated


'Tis always the season to express gratitude. And, to really boost your business in 2017, I suggest showing appreciation 365 days a year. Since day one with Polka Dots & Rosebuds Interiors, I have made it SOP to hold client events, offer gifts and write thank you notes. These personal expressions may seem basic, but they are a key part of referrals and long-time relationships that make a positive impact on my business.

In my networking days, I learned so much about the power of saying thank you. I built Polka Dots & Rosebuds on this principle and have found gratitude to be worthwhile personally and to the bottom line. If you are just starting out and need to be cost-conscious on your offerings, that's completely fine.

There are many budget-friendly stationery and gifting options and the time to write a thank you note is free. Here's my advice for three ways to make clients feel appreciated:

1. Handwritten thank you notes

Our team sends notes after every initial meeting. We have made it a policy to write notes as soon as we are back at the office, so the potential client feels appreciated from the get-go. Branded stationery, notecards showing your hometown and/or state, and cards representative of your industry are options to consider.

We have an annual dinner to thank clients in our hometown of Lexington, KY. This event is a good way to see clients we may not have worked with in a while and show them we are still thinking about them.

2. Client appreciation events

We were honored at this spring's event when a busy CPA told us he felt it was important to take time out from tax prep to attend the dinner with his wife. We have done several projects for this couple and, through forging a genuine friendship, we hope to do more work as their needs change. During the dinner, our team gives a small gift, often branded, for the attendees. Again, just a small token to keep Polka Dots & Rosebuds at the top of mind, such as a branded notepad.

We have clients in more than 25 states, so it's not possible to see every client at our annual dinner. To thank one of our main referrers, a Greek Housing company based in Tennessee, we host their team every fall at the Kentucky landmark, Keeneland Racecourse. This event has become a fun tradition to which everyone looks forward. In addition to the day at the races with lunch and drinks, we also host a couple of dinners and provide gift baskets for attendees during the weekend.

3. Annual gifting

We send client gifts out once per year. It's appropriate to do so at the beginning of a new year in order to avoid being lost in the sea of holiday gifts. We have found the gourmet apples from Mrs. Prindables to be a welcome gift. Logoed Tervis Tumblers are also a gift that it is useful year-round.

If you have an intern or extra staff, ordering and/or wrapping shipments is a good chore. And, many gifting sites have online services for order arranging that you can set up months in advance.

Here's to making your clients feel appreciated.