Taking care of your clients and customers is a year-round endeavor - not just a Christmas card during December.
- Keep good communication. That doesn't mean being available 24/7. It means setting clear guidelines for communication, and letting clients know what they are. Put it in your contract - they can expect to hear back from you within 24 hours. If you're out of the office often, set up an auto-responder so they know you got their message. Clearly communicate deadlines - if you're gonna be late, let them know. If your workflow is more than a few days, communicate to them on progress. Bonnie once had a boss who would go MIA on clients - they'd have an initial consult and get radio silence for weeks or months, leaving the client in limbo. That sends a terrible message to the client: it tells them you're unreliable and don't really care about them. If it's a past client you haven't worked with in a while, send a little note to say hello, then follow up and let them know your calendar is free if they need your services.
- Follow ups are key. If you've handed off a project, set a reminder to follow up with the client a few weeks later to check in. Ask them how it's going, how they like their new logo/headshots/family photos/artwork/website and let them know you're there if they need you. This shows them that they're not just a dollar sign - you really cared about their project. It also opens up the door for you to ask them for a review!
- Send thank you notes. We're thank you note aficionados - we send them for everything! We like to send them with a client signs on with us, and at the close of a project. Receiving a handwritten thank you note is something that you just can't replace.