(To find out, don’t look at their ring fingers. Look at your sales figures.)
We talk a lot about the efficiency and operations of your company in this blog, but when you boil everything down, there’s only one thing that matters – YOUR CLIENTS. Because without them, your business doesn’t exist. And in today’s business world, the client is king – because competition continues to increase and gives your client more choices. Gone are the days when you were the only business that could give people what you offer.
So how do you attract and retain more clients?
By engaging with them. By making their perception of your business the most important thing. By ensuring that every interaction they have with your business reminds them the value you offer and why they’d be foolish to go anywhere else.
With that in mind, here are FIVE great ways to engage your client in a meaningful way:
- Look at things from the client’s perspective. Every business decision you make should take your client into account. Why else do you do anything at your business – if it’s not ultimately for the client? This is often why you hear buzzwords such as “customer experience,” “customer journey,” and “user experience.” While this may not seem like you are directly engaging your customer with this tip, my experience shows that it will provide many opportunities to do just that.
Here’s a great example of a business keeping their clients’ perspective a priority. At every meeting at Amazon, Jeff Bezos insists that one chair at the table sits empty. The empty chair represents the Amazon client sitting at the table. If it’s good enough for Amazon (they’ve enjoyed a fair amount of success) there’s a good reason that every decision you make should come with the unspoken input of your client.
- Actively seek out your client’s feedback. Are you consistently reaching out to your clients for feedback? I’m not just talking about email surveys or a quick “How is your experience with us?” when you’re on the phone. Imagine engaging your clients when you’re rolling out a new product or service, or even trying to determine what new product or service to offer. What better way to make a client feel engaged than to ask them their opinion about a major decision at your organization? Not only do they feel valued as a client, but you gather important insights from a client’s perspective.
- Encourage clients to engage on social media. This one is becoming more and more obvious every year. Social media has become a great tool to be able to engage your clients and maintain top of mind awareness with them.
- Be active in your community. I think this is definitely an underrated tool for client engagement. Community is very important, whether it’s your geographical community, your industry trade group, or just a small community of clients that you work with. Identify what community you serve and dedicate time to engaging with the members. The more “present” you are, the more chance you have of being at the right place at the right time.
- Be proactive when making changes to your business. If you make a big change within your organization – whether it’s adding a key employee, a new product or service, a new location, or even a price change – it affects your clients. Keep your clients informed. Engage with them and explain how this decision affects your business and them as a client. Sometimes these conversations are difficult, but they can really help build the relationship. Additionally, if you’ve previously reached out to them for feedback, this is a great way to follow up to let them know how their input impacted the decision.
There’s an old joke – “this business would be great if it weren’t for the clients.” It’s funny because clients are the only reason you have a business. So as you go about making your business better, focus on your clients and what they need and want from you. You’ll likely find that a little client engagement can go a long way.