There’s a natural rhythm to the way we run our creative service businesses that’s helpful for a number of reasons. It creates a level of assurance, predictability, and confidence that we’re doing business right. As clients work with various service businesses, they also flow through similar workflow stages and funnels that can feel predictable. They’ll receive a proposal, onboarding packet or email, forms to complete, and a feedback request. Predictable right?! Well, if you’re not careful, your client experience can fall into the ‘blah’ category. We don’t want that. One way to shake things up—client gifts.
Client gifts play a big role in strengthening your client relationships. When done well, it creates a positive brand experience that will lead to referrals and repeat business. A win-win scenario that promotes strong business growth. Client gifts are also a key differentiator, setting you apart from your competitors. It puts your thoughtfulness and attention to detail on display and creates a memorable experience. Added to your other well-planned client processes, you’ll have satisfied clients who constantly think about and refer your business. Ready to strengthen your client relationships and stand out with your client gifts? Here are 5 ways to make it happen.
Client gifts are typically sent during either the onboarding or offboarding phase of the client experience. And while clients will always appreciate this kind gesture, they’ve come to know this as part of the process. As a result, it can feel more routine than personal. To stand out, choose a time when they’ll least expect it to elevate that element of surprise. This could be after your clients approve a design proof or 3 months into a coaching experience with you. This will give you time to get to know your clients and send a more thoughtful and appropriate gift. They’ll remember that extra care and attention.
Need help figuring out how you can add those unique elements of surprise to your client processes and stand out? My Client Experience Audits will pinpoint those moments for you and show you how to implement these special touchpoints to really stand out.
I think it’s safe to say that we all like options—meaningful ones. After getting to know your clients a bit better, create a collection of hand-picked items that suit your client’s personality or interests and send to them. Your clients will be delighted to know that you took an extra interest in them or remembered a conversation you may have had. I love using Dubsado forms for this and creating them for my Full Dubsado Setup And Design clients. Your thoughtfulness will strengthen the relationship between you and your clients and leave a lasting impression.
Physical client gifts and gift cards aren’t the only ways to delight your clients. Going the extra mile and addressing a secondary need is another great way to set yourself apart. You’re paying attention and you have connections. Foster good relationships with other businesses to collaborate with them and offer vendor perks to your clients. You can also troubleshoot for clients and send a list of helpful resources. Prepare this list in advance and by category to easily curate and send with a treat to enjoy while they browse the list.
Traditionally, client gifts are sent as a single gift—one and done. However, imagine the feeling your clients will have as they receive several gifts at various times, completely unexpected. Happiness! Be mindful of your budget and send smaller gifts more often, including a “thinking of you” gift a month or two after they’ve worked with you.
Subscription services are a great way to send “time-released” client gifts. For example, if you’re a Creative Educator or Coach, Appointed’s subscription service is a nice option. A fresh new monogrammed notebook can be delivered to members on your schedule to capture all the great ideas and inspiration. Plus, they include a free surprise gift with every third shipment! Click this link to get 10% off your Appointed order.
Make gifting an experience. If it’s fun, there’s a high chance it will be remembered. Create a cool visual for your course outline or project milestones with surprise gift icons along the way. This creates excitement and anticipation during your client or member’s time with you. You can also create a fun quiz that reveals the gift based on their answers. Let your offers guide the gifting experience.
Note! Strengthening your client relationships and standing out from your competition with client gifts has one key requirement. Your overall client processes and deliverables must be on point! Client gifts will enhance the positive experience your clients are having as they interact with you and your brand. It will not do much in the absence of smooth processes and great customer support.
Tighten up your client processes. Then, consider these 5 tips for client gifts as you’re reviewing your client experience. They will help heighten your client’s connection to you, create brand loyalty, and set you apart from your competition.
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A heart-centered and client-first business for the creative at heart who is ready to raise the bar with top-notch business support and streamlined processes.