We know that it hurts to spend resources on marketing while staying profitable, especially when the return on investment is not always visible.
But being visible to potential new clients is more important than the pain. Your clients will one day talk about you and this can go one of two ways. You have to get it right. Look at what happens when it goes wrong.
People are not only interested in my friend’s bad experience but other people chip in with their bad experiences. As if the social media bashing wasn’t enough, one person shows my friend how he can escalate his bad experience into an official complaint. Ouch x2.
The Sharing Golden Rule: Sharing is set to grow and grow
Peter Shankman, author of Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans and Nice Companies Finish First, has some sound advice in his book on Zombie Loyalists:
‘Customers like to share moments, whether good or bad. As the concept of sharing becomes more ingrained in our culture, that number will only grow.’
He’s spot on. Now is the time to make your firm worth sharing to your clients.
Potential new clients trust their friends [your clients] more than a great marketing campaign.
Fortunately for you, convincing their friends costs a lot less than a huge marketing campaign.
How do you convince their friends? You don’t need to be a massive company, have a massive budget or even masses of spare time. You can delight your clients by remembering some simple rules.
Rules to create sharers
- 1. Delighted clients share and talk about you much more
This one is self-explanatory. When you delight your clients, they’ll rant and rave about you. The best thing about delighted clients is that they try to bring all their friends along for the ride.
- 2. The little things really matter
Many firms think that to go the extra mile means a lot of time and money. It really doesn’t. Offering a client a free upgrade may cost you money in the short run. But not after 19 years, which is how long the average client stays with their accountant.
- 3. Make your clients feel appreciated
Clients want to feel appreciated and recognised even when they are paying for a service. Another blog post by my colleague Steve explained how firms’ promises of great service aren’t followed through. This is astonishing because making a client feel special isn’t hard.
- 4. Be Modest
Instead of turning your next piece of great feedback into a testimonial, say thank you and offer something extra to your client. It may cost you 30 minutes but everyone likes a gift.
- 5. Make your clients proud
We’re all striving to achieve something, whether that’s a new language or remembering family birthdays. If your service has helped client put a business idea into practice, they will become one of your best sharers.
- 6. Be real
Use humour. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because you can turn mistakes into opportunities for great customer service. Someone I knew once put the wrong date on adverts for a John Lewis Christmas campaign, meaning the sale had to start a day earlier than planned. A massive logistical challenge but their sales went up. My friend apologised and made sure to give them the money back. They worked together for many years after. People will find you easier to approach if you’re human.
- 7. Exclusive offers
Aside from free coffee, clients love privileged access: Test-market a business idea on your favourite clients!
Finally, remember these sharers are your current clients so start making them feel special! If you’d like to find out how you can implement some of these approaches, drop us a line – we’d love to hear from you.