Don’t you hate it when you call a company only to get greeted by a series of voice prompts? Nowadays, it seems like everything is becoming more digitalized and thus, less personalized. Unless you are in the business of pissing off your customers then you know that your success depends on good customer service. And if you are a small business owner, this is especially important. Client relationships are the lifeline of small businesses. Your customers want to know that you appreciate them, their business and their continued loyalty to your company and services. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day and spreading the love, we’ve highlighted five ways that you can show your clients just exactly how much you appreciate them.

These steps set you apart from the vendor-type company and pushes you towards trusted partner status:

1. Respond-at the very least.

No one wants to feel like they are being ignored. No matter how big or small, your clients want to feel like they are your most important. Usually, all it takes is a quick email/phone call acknowledging that you are on top of it. Often times, relationship managers/project managers are overly concerned about having the right answer. Instead, address the clients concerns, let them know you are on top of it and give them a timeline of when they can expect to hear from you again. This will give you time to find the best solution possible. Note: avoid automated emails as it takes away from the personalized element of customer service.

2. Be more than an email address

Email is the main source of communication in business today. Many times, you can go months –sometimes years- working with someone, without ever actually meeting face-to-face. At that point, personalization goes out the window. It is very hard to build rapport with anyone via email. In these instances, consider scheduling time for a phone call, a GoTo meeting or a Skype video call. You’ll be surprised how far it’ll get you- putting a face to the name is more helpful than you may realize.

3.Make them feel special

Lets face it; people just like to feel special. We have a client that calls their customers on their birthdays. Although this may seem silly, little things like this are what cultivate relationships, trust and loyalty. Whether it’s a personalized greetings card, a small gift or referral awards, define which strategies are doable for you business.

4.Spotlight your Customers

Feature your clients on your website or mention them on your social media channels. This makes customers feel valued and noteworthy. It gives them a sense of pride to be working with you and can end up working to your advantage in more ways than one as they may return the favor.

5.Show You Value Their Opinion and Feedback

Make sure to take notes when your clients make suggestions and provide you with feedback. That way, it’ll be a nice surprise when you follow up to tell them that you’ve implemented their suggestions and made changes. There is perhaps no better way to show client appreciation than to prove that you are listening to their concerns. This will also help to establish an open line of communication between the both of you.

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