How to build a roster of devoted, loyal and HAPPY clients

A couple of months ago, I noticed the airbag light on my dashboard. Can’t be that big of a deal I thought. So I popped into our local body shop where I was informed a new (and much more expensive than you’d imagine) airbag was needed. Clearly, this wasn’t welcome news, but it wasn’t a corner we could cut, so I sucked it up and handed over the credit card.

Now this could have been a total downer, but Frank and Bob, the brothers who owned the body shop, were an absolute delight. For a start, they were a hilarious double act who made me smile with their old-school shtick.  But beyond that, they went above and beyond to make it as painless as possible.  Despite my arriving on their lot unannounced, they ordered parts and had my car back to me within a 1-day turnaround.

But what turned me from a happy customer into a repeat customer who will refer all my friends was one simple act: they returned the car to me CLEAN! They’d taken it to the car wash! Even though I’d just dropped $1500 on the bloody car, this unexpected bonus made my day. We were going on vacation the next week and I now had one less thing to do.

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It got me to thinking – we can ALL add value to our clients in small but meaningful ways. It doesn’t have to take a lot of your time, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It just needs to be thoughtful and unexpected.

Are you ready to stand out, delight your clients and keep them coming back?

Here are a couple of ways I add extra value to my clients; all require some investment of my resources, whether they be money, energy or time, but I enjoy doing it and my clients tell me they love them. Worth the effort? I think so!

  •  Welcome gift for new clients (my daily essentials: index cards, good tea, dark chocolate, a sharp pencil and a motivational quote).

• Recordings of their sessions so they don’t need to worry about missing a thing.
• Re-cap notes, because seeing a session through someone else’s eyes can be invaluable
• Free 5-minute check ins, because we all have questions.

Now it’s your turn. Take a piece of paper and list ALL the ways in which you could add value and make your clients feel valued. Some ideas:

1. Open office hours – Have you noticed many of your clients have the same question or struggle?  Offer a Facebook Live or google hangout where clients can jump on, share their challenges, ask questions and get solutions

2. A token gift – Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail? I do a welcome gift, but there are lots of opportunities to show a client you care. Perhaps a small gift for the arrival of a new baby, or a treat around the holidays. It doesn’t have to break the bank, just make it thoughtful.

3. An unexpected deliverable on their project – When photographer, Anna Herbst, took our family photos after Cormac was born, I was delighted to find an additional print of Teddy (beautifully boxed) tucked in with the framed prints. Another creative friend prints up notecards for clients she’s re-branding.  What would your clients love, but maybe not think of for themselves?

Hopefully your brain is buzzing with creative ideas about how you can give more value (because the more you give, the more you receive). If this topic resonates, but you could use more guidance and support to really stand out, let’s chat. I’d love to help you build YOUR roster of happy, loyal clients!


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