By Cara Herrin

Have you ever walked into a place of business and immediately felt comfortable?  You know, that warm fuzzy feeling that gives you the urge to spread the news to anyone, anywhere, even online.  You may not have made a purchase or hired them.  In fact, maybe you even returned something, but regardless the process was simple, and you left feeling appreciated. I love this feeling!  It’s one of the main strategies I use daily and encourage my staff to use as well. 

  1. TREAT EACH CLIENT LIKE A VIP.
    Treating each client like they are the only client is hard, but attainable.  Simple acts of kindness go a long way.  Note names and personal details about each client to easily start conversation. Quickly respond to communications via email or phone during business hours. Under promise and always over deliver.
  2. ENCOURAGE FEEDBACK TO IMPROVE PROCEDURES.
    You should encourage feedback and take it seriously. Streamlining the customer experience will help make your businesses run efficiently.  Listen to the customer’s perspective, and try to implement new procedures or make accommodations.  This provides a smooth customer experience and better results.
  3. BECOME A CUSTOMER OR REFER BUSINESS.
    Everyone loves new business!  Introduce your clients to potential new clients via networking, email, or consider printing some quick referral cards that link your business to the referral. Referral cards are an inexpensive, valuable resource for your business. Patronize your clients’ businesses when you can. 
  4. LEAVE SOME LAGNIAPPE.
    Always leave something behind to say thank you.  Whether it’s a quick handwritten card, a follow up email with helpful hints, or even your favorite cookies, taking a few moments to thank your clients for their patronage goes a long way.  
  5. END RELATIONSHIPS WITH A SMILE.
    Not all business relationships last forever.  It can be difficult when a client moves on for any reason.  As we tell our children, be sure to leave with a happy heart.  Make the process as smooth as possible.  Package all deliverables and any items needed sending that to them via email or online sharing tool.  Provide them with an exit survey to see what you can do to improve your service or what they loved about your service.  Finally, close business on a positive note.  You’ll be more likely to have them return if they need your services again or send referrals your way when you end the relationship with a good perspective.

No matter what type of business you manage or work for, creating a positive climate is worth its weight in gold.  Lead by example, and encourage your team to emit positive vibes too. You may not be able to please every client all the time. However, smiles are contagious.  So, pass one on.