At the end of the day, many of us choose to work with people based on who we like best. Yes we want expertise and a budget that works with our stage of growth, and sure we might be looking to align with a particular company for its connections or name recognition within the industry. But all things being equal, we choose to work not with a logo or fancy website, but with the individuals who make up that company. We hire those we feel understand us, share a similar sensibility, worldview, sense of humor and set of values.
And much like in any relationship. the immediate gasp of recognition, dreaming into what’s possible and excitement over having found such a wonderful fit, can dip into boredom, annoyance and dare I say it, a wandering eye, if the fire of connection is not continuously stoked. And so, on this particular week in February, I felt moved to share a few ideas to help ensure your clients feel your appreciation all year long.
1. Find out their primary love language
While the world might currently be obsessed with the Enneagram, there’s another test that can be a fun exercise to require of both employees and clients (and no better day to do it than on February 14). The five Love Languages (free test available to take right over here) will let you know the best way to show your clients the love in the form they most appreciate. Here’s an example: my primary love language is quality time, followed by acts of service. Gifts are great, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t speak to me the way one-on-one time does. Think about it – knowing that about me gives you heaps of way to make me feel important that go beyond simply sending me some flowers. How about a one-on-one lunch with an agency partner to really dive into my business goals? Or a spa day where we simply carve out some time to reflect, rejuvenate and then revisit business challenges on a completely different day?
When you know how to appreciate your clients you can ensure that in special ways and just ongoing communication you’re keeping their love language top of mind. And, in case you’re in a way more corporate environment where the L word has no place, author of the Love Languages Gary Chapman has since released a similar book specifically for organizations. You could go ahead and send out an email about the quiz this week (lead with your own team results) or simply incorporate this into your client onboarding process for a fun twist on the usual.
2. Celebrate Great Work Together with Industry Awards
Everyone loves a bit of time in the spotlight, and there is no better, mutually-beneficial endeavor than to honor and celebrate the work your agency has done one behalf of a client than to deem that work worthy of an industry award. In fact, right now you can apply for one of PR Couture’s own Bespoke Awards – in a variety of client-friendly categories like Best Brand Activation and Standout Brand of the Year. What an impactful way to say “the work we do together matters and deserves recognition.”
3. Make a donation to a cause that’s important to them, just because
The just because gesture is so powerful because it’s unexpected. Most everyone has a few (or a few thousand) causes near and dear to their heart. Find out what these are and make it a habit of making a donation in their name at a few random (to them at least) times during the year. A charitable donation is tax-deductible for you, and a powerful way to say “what matters to you matters to me, because you matter to me.”
4. Post a recurring client spotlight feature on social media
I have some pretty cool lawyers, the kind with their own Instagram. One of my favorite things about following them is a recurring #clientspotlight feature, which not only sheds light into their roster but gives me tons of great new companies to follow. While you might be in the habit of posting client press and product shots, consider going a bit deeper and telling the business story you’re telling to the media, direct to your own followers. This could entail a series of 5 fun questions, an IG stories takeover or live Q&A or simply the tale of how you came to work together and few highlights to date.
5. Host a client appreciation party
Take time to celebrate your clients with a little on-site soirée. Perhaps you bring in an expert to talk about an area of mutual interest (time management, business scaling), interview them for an agency video or simply go nuts with tons of photo opps (because #content). Give out awards, order in cookies with their Instagram profile, host fun challenges and games complete with prizes and yes, more photos! Take the opportunity to extend your agency brand and culture out to your clients for a morale-boosting good time.
February is a great month to focus on client appreciation, but elevating your overall client love process will go far in ensuring a loyal, enthusiastic, referral-making, confidence-having client base with the added benefit of taking time out to give back has on your own inner feels.