February 15, 2018
When you are super busy running a business, it can be easy to let customer appreciation slide to the bottom of your long to-do list. The problem is, if you don’t show your customers love on a regular basis, they’re going to feel neglected, which can put their continued loyalty at risk.
Good news! You don’t have to spend a lot of time to make your customers feel appreciated. The following ideas coupled with your genuine gratitude makes it easy to show how much you care.
Send an unexpected treat. Imagine receiving an unexpected gift card or a sampler of delicious local fare. Offering a simple treat “just because” will show your appreciation and go a long way toward keeping your customers loyal. Time involved: Maybe five minutes to buy something online or to call a local bakery or food delivery service.
Give a shout out on social media. When your clients achieve an important milestone, take a minute to recognize it by posting your congratulations on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. You can also share your customers’ content to add an extra level of engagement. Time involved: One minute or less.
Pick up the phone or schedule a video conference. While sending emails and texts is great, picking up the phone or having some virtual face time once in a while is important. Schedule a short “check in” call every quarter to show your clients that you appreciate their feedback.
Time involved: 10 to 15 minutes.
Profile them. Here’s a win-win strategy for appreciating your clients and growing your business. Ask them if you can write a success story for your website or other marketing channel about how they are benefiting from working with you. They’ll get exposure and you’ll get social proof to help win more clients. Time involved: 90 minutes to interview, write the profile and post it on your website.
Offer referrals. The best business relationships are mutually beneficial. One of the best ways to appreciate the business your customers do with you is to return the favor, either by using their services yourself or by referring them to others. Time involved: 10 minutes to either reach out yourself or to make an introduction.
Author Kevin Starts wrote, “Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back.” Even if you are short on time, these tips can help you and your staff create meaningful contacts with your customers that show how important they are to you!
Small business owners in many communities offer downtown trick or treat events. Take advantage of this opportunity to build your business reputation. Involvement in local events goes a long way with both existing and prospective customers—indicating a vested interest in your community. Find creative ways to make your business stand out this trick-or-treat season. We hope the following suggestions will spark fun promotional ideas:
Any business that deals with financial data is a target for today’s aggressive cybercriminals…and accounting firms are not exempt. Because of the sensitive information we possess, accounting professionals have moved to the top of the hacker’s hit list. Just consider that a single tax return includes the taxpayer’s name and Social Security Number, as well as address, phone number and bank account numbers. It’s a treasure trove of sensitive data that cybercriminals crave.
October marks Women’s Small Business Month, and we are happy and proud to recognize women in business both locally and around the world. Successful business women of the past and present continue to forge new paths for female entrepreneurs. We celebrate all those who are breaking the glass ceiling and serving as role models and mentors to women everywhere.