I don’t need to spend too much time telling you how customer and client relationships are essential to keeping your business healthy and thriving. If your clients and customers are pleased with the work you do for them, they will be encouraged to tell their friends and colleagues about your products or services, thus growing your business. On the other hand, unhappy customers will warn people away from your business, damaging your reputation and your profits. The benefits of keeping your clients and customers happy are plain to see. Unfortunately, though, in the constant hustle and bustle of running your own business, taking the time to nurture your client relationships can slip further and further down the endless to-do list. So, how can you make moves to better your relationships with customers and clients without adding much extra work or stress to your life? Here are my pointers for keeping customers happy with ease.

Genuinely Communicate

There are two prevailing opinions out there when it comes to how you should communicate with customers. One school of thought is of the opinion that you should always remain professional and a little bit detached, to maintain an air of formality and make your clients feel more important. On the other hand, the opposing strategy is to be more familiar and less formal, to foster a friendly relationship with your clients. Before I offer an opinion on this, I have to make the disclaimer that you should decide how to treat all of your customers on a case by case basis. Everyone is different, so everyone will appreciate different treatment to some extent. However, I think client relationships work best when they start by erring on the formal side, and then evolve into a familiar, friendly repartee after trust is built.

Having a personal, friendly relationship with your clients can have surprising business benefits. By knowing what makes a client or customer tick in their personal life, you may be able to gain insight into how that informs the way they run their business. This way, you can tailor your products and services to meet your clients’ specific needs, and they will deeply appreciate this personalized attention.

Perks & Specials

Obviously, a surefire way into most peoples’ hearts is through gifts and special treatment. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who would turn down an awesome present. You can channel this fundamental fact of life into improving your client relationships, by offering clients a discount or free services after being with your company for a certain amount of time. You should also give your clients and customers gifts periodically, not just for the holidays. These can be as simple as finding out which snacks or desserts are your clients’ favorites, and ordering the treats to be delivered to their office. Try out a mail-order bakery with a corporate gift program and send your customers and clients a cake on their birthday or on a milestone day for their business. A little bit of sugar will go a long way, in that your clients will see you as more considerate and aware of what’s important to them, and that making them happy is a priority for you.

Try adding these ideas into your business plan and see how having strong relationships with your clients and customers can help your business grow.

Lisa Craft loves to write & share ideas about how to keep a business thriving, especially how you can do so by improving your relationships with clients, customers, & employees.