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6 reasons to thank your clients
In How to make clients your allies, we outlined strategies to help you keep your clients happy.
A simple (and most overlooked) way to keep your clients coming back to you for more business is to be courteous and say thank you. There are plenty of opportunities to be courteous to your clients if you keep your eyes and ears open. Irrespective of whether you are an entrepreneur or work in the corporate sector, here are six instances when thanking your clients is a must.
Clients show interest in your product/services
The market for all products and services is competitive and your client has multiple sellers queuing up outside his door. If your client agrees to meet you to discuss the possibilities of an association -- thank him. Send him a simple thank you e-mail or note, stating your appreciation of his time and your willingness to work with them.
Clients buy your product/services
This may sound obvious but many salespeople do not thank their clients after the order has been placed. When was the last time that the local retailer thanked you for visiting his store? It is your responsibility to make your customers feel good about choosing you over the competition. This will ensure that your clients keep coming back to you for more.
Clients give you a reference
A lot of businesses bank on references. Make it a point to go out of your way to thank somebody who gives you a reference. "I passed on a lot of references to my insurance agent but not once did he thank me for it. I stopped sending potential clients to him after a while," says Vidhanshu Bansal, a director at Delhi-based IT company Pixel Webtech.
Clients give you feedback
Most of us don't think of thanking our customers for complaining. Rather than trying to justify or playing the blame game, thank the customer for taking the time to provide feedback and point out the shortcoming. Work intensively towards improving that aspect of your product/service and go back to the customer with the new offering. "Shortly after launching our website, a client encountered a problem and received an incorrect product brochure for an order he had placed. I thanked him because he helped me correct a problem I didn't know even existed," says Vidhanshu.
Clients settle the payments
As I was writing this article, I received an online thank you card from a web site designer to whom we have outsourced our web maintenance work. She thanked me for the timeliness of our payments. This made me feel good inspite of the fact that I was the buyer in this case. If this web designer uses the same strategy with all her clients, I am certain she will rarely run into payment problems.
When clients demonstrate loyalty
Never take a long-term client for granted. These are the people who help you stay afloat in business and it's important that you invest in building strong relationships with them. Send them regular updates, thank you notes and other useful information. Drop in on a surprise visit occasionally and don't discuss business. Let your clients know that you value them beyond the money they invest in your products/services.
How to say thank you
There are multiple ways to do it. These include sending a handwritten note, an occasional gift, an e-card or a thank you card. Even an inexpensive card with some genuine handwritten comments can make you stand out from the crowd and make your client remember you. The time you will invest will pay you back manifold.
Remember: Without clients, there would be no business. So, get client-savvy and invest in building a strong relationship with them.
-- The author is a managing partner at WCH Solutions, a training solutions organisation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share your experiences and prescribe your tips on how to keep your clients loyal.
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