Start the New Year with Happy Customers: Strategies to Implement Today
As you put away the holiday decorations and set your resolutions (maybe this will be the year for that elusive exercise goal), don’t forget about your customer retention strategy.
You probably know that acquiring a new customer is way more expensive than retaining an existing one (5x, to be exact). Focusing on your customers leads to happier folks and better business outcomes.
Now’s the time to put a plan in place so you’ll be set up for success in the new year!
Here are 3 ways to keep your customers smiling all year, with advice from Account Director extraordinaire at Teak & Twine, Kris Swanson.
Make Your Customers Happy with These Strategies
1. Schedule Regular Meetings to Increase Customer Retention
Before January rolls around, schedule two types of recurring customer meetings – a check-in call and a more strategic, planning meeting. We recommend scheduling 15 to 30-minute check-in calls every two weeks, or as often as makes sense for your business, and hosting a 1-hour strategic meeting on a quarterly basis.
Getting these meetings booked in advance starts the new year off on the right foot!
Don’t forget to also prepare a thoughtful agenda for each meeting. This shows your customers you value their time. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a meeting and thinking, “This could have been an email.”
On client check-in calls, Kris comes prepared to discuss:
- Project goals and needs – What is the client trying to accomplish, and what suggestions can she share?
- Team dynamics – Who will be involved in the initiative? How can she help make sure all the key stakeholders are informed?
- Important timelines – How can she help them stay on track?
“We often have a customer that changes roles within their company, so we want to meet with them to understand how we can help in their new department.”
While it’s great to have calls already on the calendar, be prepared for ad hoc meetings as customers change their strategic focus or your contacts take on new positions. “We often have a customer that changes roles within their company, so we want to meet with them to understand how we can help in their new department,” shares Kris.
With meetings scheduled, you’re well on your way to delivering a top-notch client experience!
2. Be a Trusted Resource
Share materials and offers that will help your customers in their day-to-day jobs. This will position you as a trusted resource and give your customers new ideas and inspiration!
We suggest sending regular emails with resources tailored to your client’s needs, such as:
- New educational posts your company has published: You don’t want to bombard customers with emails every time there’s a new company blog post or ebook. Instead, use these emails as an opportunity to feature the top 1-2 articles that are most relevant to your customers. Careful curation is sure to make an impact!
- Resources from external sources: Sharing industry insights shows that you keep a pulse on the space, and are tuned in to the challenges your clients are facing. It also adds credibility to your expertise to share resources from outside your company.
- Product updates and case studies: If you have new and exciting product features available, make sure to feature them! Don’t forget to highlight how the new functionality impacts your customer’s job. It’s also great to include examples of how other similar customers are using your product or service.
- Special offerings for white-glove customers: Show your top-tier clients some extra love by offering them discounts, early access to product features, and more! That's always a great lever to pull to increase customer retention.
Frequent and regular communication helps you become an extension of your customer’s team. While it may be time-consuming to carefully curate these resources, the hard work will pay off in smiles!
3. Send Special Customer Gifts Throughout the Year
Gifting isn’t just for the holidays, though it’s pretty great then too. Sending thoughtful and timely gifts throughout the year keeps you top of mind with your customers!
Custom client gifts can be a great way to celebrate milestones (like anniversaries or promotions), welcome in a new season, or just let someone know you’re thinking of them.
“We really like to surprise our customers,” shares Kris. She and her team send gifts to clients, when they’re least expecting it. This past summer they sent over 100 surprise gift boxes to customers filled with lots of fun goodies and snacks. The result – lots of happy customers!
Gifting Best Practices to Keep your Customers Happy
So, how do you know where to get started when planning your client gifts? We’ve got you covered with our easy and actionable client gifting tips:
Consider your client’s interests
Don’t send something bland! Your gift should reflect your client’s hobbies and personal tastes. Whether they like golf, cooking a new meal, or getting cozy with a good mystery novel, be sure to choose a one-of-a-kind gift.
Identify company culture and values
Different regions and industries all have their own norms, practices, and beliefs. Consider what gifts will be a good fit and feel appropriate for your customers.
Add a personal touch
Include a special note or nod to something you’ve discussed before. Titan Electric worked with Teak & Twine to send over 600 client gift boxes, each packed with a custom note. This note was both sentimental and playful and tied to the items in the gift box.
Don't forget to be human
Kris recommends not taking yourself too seriously. At the end of the day, the key to keeping customers happy is by connecting with them on a personal level. Which is why the best corporate gifts are those that showcase your personality and make a lasting impression!
Awesome Gifts for Happy Customers
Now for the extra fun part – picking the gifts!
Kris’s favorite gifts “are any that include chocolate,” and our customers second that notion! Clients love our mouth-watering snacks like luxury chocolate from Chuao Chocolatier and gourmet olive oil from Truff.
Gifting, when done right, is an opportunity to create a memorable experience and make your customer’s day even a little better.
Keep Customers Happy All Year Long
Schedule recurring client meetings, share valuable resources, and put a customer gifting strategy in place — that's your secret sauce for keeping customers happy this year.
Implementing these customer retention strategies will be sure to leave your customers feeling appreciated, valued, and most of all — happy!
And if you need a hand with that gifting strategy, get in touch with one of our team members today!
Written by Torrance Hart. Dec. 2023.