The Best Ways to Thank Your Clients
'Tis the season to give thanks - and that includes showing appreciation for your clients. Really, that's something interior designers should plan for the entire year, not just at the holidays. It's one of the top "rules" of customer care. But how do you thank your clients in a way that's really meaningful? I'm glad you asked!
1. Timing Is Everything
There are those all-important client touchpoints in every project. They're usually face-to-face meetings at critical stages in your timeline. They include that first meeting, the presentation, walkthroughs, installation, etc. Those are your opportunities to really WOW your clients and show them that you truly care about their family and their business! You should have an organized plan in place for the different ways you will show your appreciation at each stage. That will help you be consistent and have a space in your budget for whatever you decide to do or to give.
2. Little Things Mean a Lot
Does giving thanks mean that you need to spend a fortune?! Absolutely not! Even the smallest things can mean a lot. Some of the most successful client gifts I've seen are a bucket of dog toys and treats for the four-legged family member, or a framed rendering of the client's new home. Save your bigger gifts and budget for the big reveal if you have a limited amount of funds. Even a written note can go a log way! But definitely put thought into each thank-you at each stage of your project. Make them meaningful.
3. Pay Attention
And one of the most meaningful things you can do is to pay attention! Listen to what your clients tell you - they will reveal their favorite colors, where they love to eat, and what means the most to them. You also want to know when they have an important date coming up, like birthdays and anniversaries. If they have kids, know their names and birthdays. Same for those pets! One of the quickest ways into my heart is if you pay attention to my kids or to my poodle, Lexi! Take in all the details of your clients' lives and plan your gifts around those. They will REALLY appreciate your thoughtfulness.
4. Don't Say Goodbye
So does this mean you're done with the thanks when the project is over? NO WAY! Showing your appreciation is a sure way to get a referral from a favorite client. Remember that grassroots marketing is STILL the #1 way that designers get business. So you want your clients to tell everyone how amazing you are. You want to stay top-of-mind with your best clients and there's one sure way to do that. By reaching out! I love to send a client gift and thank-you note to my leading or repeat clients around Thanksgiving every year. You beat the holiday rush of gifts AND you make them remember you. I have another designer friend who sends a holiday gift to her top 10 former and current clients AND a summer gift. Last year it was a sand bucket with sunscreen, monogrammed beach towels for each member of the family, and a bottle of wine. Keep the fun (and the thanks) rolling!
All of these ideas help you run a professional and upscale business. And knowing that's how you do business and how your design process works is an important message for potential clients. You don't have to reveal all the gift giving (surprises are awesome!), but do set expectations up front for how things will go. Download my FREE Guide for Setting Client Expectations here!