You ordered a glass of wine and two bottles of water. The bill came to US $40. Are you shocked? Horrified?
recently came across a receipt from my trip to Italy last year and,
rather than cringe in pain when seeing that receipt again, I smiled at
the instant memory of the experience which it generated. It was one of
the few nice days we had and I was sitting with my uncle and mother at
an outside table in the center of Piazza Navona (Navona Square) in Rome
watching local artists selling their works and people milling about.
did I smile rather than cringe? It was the "experience". I was
immediately brought back to the people, the chatting, the smells, the
feel of the warm sun on a winter’s day, the sound of the Fountain of
Four Rivers — all of it, generated off a receipt for wine and bottled
Now I want you to stop and think for a moment. What type of *experience* do you/your business leave your clients with?
they happy they did business with you? Are they frustrated? Did you
answer the phone with a smile? Are your emails friendly or clipped?
this age of technology-driven companies and recorded receptionists, are
you providing your clients with a personal touch? It’s the personal
touch, the feeling that they are special to you and your business that
will bring them back again and again.
With the Internet, clients
(and customers) today are extremely fickle. They can quickly and easily
"Google" another company that provides similar goods and services. You
need to create an iron cage around your clients — and you do that by
creating loyalty. You should be the *only* virtual assistant or
consultant or pizza company that they think of when needing your
You create loyalty by consistenly providing your clients with a positive experience.
Let’s go over that one more time: "You create loyalty by CONSISTENTLY providing your clients with a POSITIVE EXPERIENCE."
before you dismiss all of this and say "I can’t do this, my business is
different!", let’s discuss some ways you can create loyalty through
1. Care about your client.
husband and I went on a Celebrity cruise to Alaska with another couple
a few years ago. It was the most amazing trip of my life. If you ask my
hubby about the trip, he immediately focuses on two things: the
glaciers (a little hard to beat those) and our waiter, Sanchez. Sanchez
was, by far, the best waiter we have EVER had. He remembered all of our
names, our likes, our dislikes, our quirky requests, everything — and
this was after one dinner.
We felt truly cared about. And how he
added to our experience was reflected in the end-of-cruise tip he
received — five times the recommended amount. 🙂
there was a local used car dealership which prided itself on caring
about its customers. They even offered free, no-appointment-needed oil
changes for as long as you owned your car and free loaners whenever
your car needed repairs. One of their salesmen lived up the street from
me and whenever I needed work done, he would swing by in the morning
and drop off a loaner and bring my car back that night — fixed and
ready to go (including a wash and vacuuming). He didn’t get paid any
extra and he wasn’t even "my" salesman. He, and everyone else at that
dealership, prided themselves on the total customer experience.
result — my husband and I told everyone we know how great they were
and, within the course of 2 years, 16 people we referred there
purchased vehicles. Not including my parents who originally referred us
and bought two there themselves. Then they changed ownership and
service was never the same — the company quickly went out of business.
Care about your clients and they will care about you.
2. Personalize your approach.
have a client who is very relaxed in nature. She loves to laugh and
joke and have a good time. I have another who is very formal and
serious. I enjoy working with both of these clients and personalize how
I work with them so they remain in their comfort zone while working
I also do A LOT of reading and clip out and send things
of interest to each of my clients as I come across them. It’s not
always about business, as a result of working together, I’ve learned
their personal interests and send them things related to what they care
3. Keep in touch.
In addition to my ezine and
regular coaching sessions, I "touch" my clients, past clients and
prospective clients, at least six times each year. Each "touch" gives
them something positive — whether it be holiday wishes, a discount on
a new product or a gift — and reminds them that I am here if they need
4. Thank them.
As simple as this sounds, many
businesses forget to thank their clients for doing business with them.
Your clients have a choice — they CAN go elsewhere. Thank them for
doing business with you. Thank them personally, thank them in writing,
thank them with discount coupons. . .just THANK THEM!
5. Be generous.
you have a client who is currently going through some tough times, do
something to let them know that you care and will stick by them during
this time. Whether you extend your invoice terms, offer them a
discounted rate or otherwise "help" them during their time of need,
they will remember it. It’s human nature to want to do something good
for someone when they have done something good for us — let them "do
something good for you" by being a loyal customer.
These are just
a few ways that you can give your clients a positive experience when
dealing with you and your business. Have staff? If so, you’ll want to
ingrain this in every one of them — from the receptionist to the
What can you do today to insure a positive client experience?
Sandra Martini, the
Automatic Business Coach, and award-winning author teaches small business
owners how to implement processes and systems designed to take them out of the
day-to-day running of their business. For more information and to receive her FREE e-course/audio series, ">"5
Quick & Easy Ways To Put Your Marketing on Autopilot", visit http://www.SandraMartini.com