Do your clients feel connected to you?

Impeccable Client Engagement
Staying Connected and Engaged

massageMy wife, Maggie, and I enjoy the occasional professional massage. We’ve visited many different service providers over the years – everything from the local Groupon massage referral … to a honeymoon couple’s massage on the beaches of Roatan Island – and we’ve observed that not all practitioners are created (trained) equally.

One specific thing we’ve noticed is that while some massage therapists do a wonderful job of staying connected to you during your massage, others may leave you feeling a little disconnected. I’ll explain…

I’ve recently learned that the professionals are taught to practice something really special and quite effective. They’re trained to keep at least one hand on you at all times, no matter what. This would explain why many of them keep a holster of massage oil on their hip, instead of a side table or storage cart, which could end up out of reach. Think about it. Here you are, face down, eyes closed, treating yourself to a luxury – all while putting your trust “in the hands” of a professional.

This “one-hand-at-all-times” best practice is what maintains that trust; it keeps you feeling connected and engaged – both physically and emotionally.

Your clients should be receiving the same treatment. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to make a physical connection but some form of ongoing engagement is important. More than keeping your name and face in front of your clients and prospects, this is about engineering ongoing experiences that exceed expectations. And there are bonus points for creativity …

One Valentine’s Day, I opened my mailbox to find a generous bag of hand-delivered personalized M&Ms, along with a very nice handwritten note, from a realtor I know. Every December, another realtor sends me (and 3,000 of his other clients) a collection of his favorite holiday songs on a CD. With all of the “noise” created by advertising, marketing and promotional efforts, it’s worth the effort to come up with a unique, creative way to stay connected with your clients and prospects. If it’s remarkable enough, they might just share the story with others …

 

Caring Leads to Sharing

BMW Pen - Client EngagementToday, for example, a Facebook friend posted a photo (right) with a caption that read, Wow second gift BMW sent for just owning one of their cars. When I clicked on the photo to enlarge it, I was able to see more detail. The typed note that accompanied this elegant gift reads, “In celebration of your second anniversary, a signature gift from BMW.” Tasteful indeed.

Yes, this strategic campaign – designed to help BMW remain top-of-mind with its clients – is a relationship-building strategy. As is the store clerk thanking you by name because they’re trained to get your name from your credit card or club card. But who cares? Most customers eat this stuff up … and they tell others. People share stories about these experiences face-to-face, through social media and every time they use the pen, play the CD or eat the M&Ms. Could you ask for better word-of-mouth advertising?

 

Thinking of You

Here’s a zero-cost best practice for you and your business: Have you ever unsubscribed from a newsletter? That’s a loaded question – of course you have. I’ve asked many audiences this question and then I like to ask, “Why?” The most common answer I receive is something along the lines of, “Well, there wasn’t anything of value there for me … besides, I get way too many e-mails.” Understood. But I’m going to ask you to find and subscribe to a favorite newsletter or two – not for yourself; for others – for clients.

There are two e-publications I receive that are worth paying forward. One is a weekly digest of short video TEDTalks (from TED, the nonprofit that communicates ideas from the Technology, Entertainment and Design worlds). The other is a list of special interest requests from HARO (Help a Reporter Out), a site that links small business owners with journalists. More often than not, I’ll see something from TED or HARO while skimming – usually within a matter of seconds – that could add value for one of my clients. When I feel compelled, I pass it along to the person it fits best. Whether I actually use the words “Thinking of you” or not, isn’t that implied and quite obvious?

  • How are you letting your customers and clients know that you’re thinking of them?
  • How are you staying connected and engaged?

I’d love to know …

Comments

  1. Thank you for the HARO mention in a great piece!

    -Peter Shankman

  2. I’m not always disciplined enough to do but I like to send a personalized hand written note to thank someone for their business, time, or impact they’ve had in my life is one medium I use to stay connected. With all of the “auto generated” and “sound bite” forms of communicating these days a hand written note sends a message that I spent a few minutes THINKING OF YOU.

    Great blog Steve – right on the money as usual!

  3. @Peter: thanks for checking it out … and, of course, for bringing HARO to the world.

    @Eric: you’re absolutely right. And doesn’t it feel great to put pen to paper, sign/seal/deliver … and then know how much it will be appreciated on the other end.

  4. Jasmine Singh says:

    Do your clients feel connected to you? is the question that should be answered by businesses.
    I believe that clients should always be the goals of one’s business’ goals and not profit. Profit can come with the client and a thousand times more if one managed to gain their trust.

  5. Yes, Jasmine, it always comes back to trust. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Your thoughts? (Look for “Leave a Reply” below, or click here) […]

  2. […] Professional masseurs are trained to keep at least one hand on you AT ALL TIMES (like when they have to reach away from you for something). In other words they’re always “connected” to you. How are you having your clients feel consistently connected to you and your company? […]

  3. […] you give me your name … I feel more connected to you; more welcome. I believe you are prepared to deliver such a great experience that I should […]

  4. […] customers want to feel connected with you throughout the process. If communication “goes dark” at any point, they’ll feel […]

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