This is a guest post from Mahnoor Sheikh at Visme.
Companies can no longer compete solely on price or product.
If a client does not have a good experience with your business, don’t expect them to hang around for a second chance. According to a PWC study, 32% of customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after just one bad experience.
For B2B companies, customer service is even more important. There’s more personal interaction involved, and B2B clients are often looking for comprehensive, long-term solutions to deep-rooted problems.
If you don’t show your clients that you genuinely care about them, you might lose them to your competitors in a heartbeat. Here are 12 ways to make your clients feel cared for.
#1 Get to the Root of the Problem, and Solve It
Sure, your product may be one of the best in the world. But if it doesn’t solve your client’s problem, it’s a waste of time. That’s why it’s so important to get to the root of the problem. It puts you in a better position to solve it.
Don’t assume anything about your client—ask questions. And when you do, make sure you’re asking the right ones. Here are some questions you might want to ask your clients to truly understand their problem:
- What is the biggest hurdle your business is facing?
- How does that make you feel?
- Have you tried to do anything about it?
- How important is a solution to you?
- What’s your budget to fix this problem?
When you ask questions, be prepared to listen to the answers. Listening to your clients indicates that you care about what they think. It makes them feel important and valued, which helps build trust. Plus, you’ll better understand your client’s pain points and needs when you’re listening instead of only trying to sell your product.
#2 Recognize and React to Their Emotions
To show clients you care, you need to act like a human being, not a business.
One of the best ways to do that is by practicing empathy. In other words, aligning your feelings with those of your clients. Acknowledge their emotions and react to them appropriately.
If they’re feeling happy and expressing themselves, share in their joy. If they’re going through a difficult situation, show your concern. The key is to validate their feelings and offer genuinely helpful solutions. Don’t ever tell your clients they shouldn’t feel a certain way.
#3 Stay Updated on Their Business
Nothing says “I care” more than someone going out of their way to learn more about your business and its products.
Demonstrate to your clients you’re actually interested in what they do by keeping track of company news, announcements, and new business developments. Here are a few things you can do:
- Stay informed about the industry your client is operating in
- Congratulate clients on hiring new managers or team members
- Celebrate new product launches, divisions, and acquisitions
- Purchase and use their products or services
- Subscribe to their email newsletter
- Follow them on all social media platforms
- Regularly read their blog posts
Staying up-to-date with your client’s business also equips you with sufficient knowledge to solve their problems.
For example, you can practice social listening to keep track of online conversations around your client’s brand, for instance, on forums or social media, and then come up with ideas that help your clients serve their customers better.
#4 Invite Them to Your Exclusive Events
Make your clients feel special by inviting them to exclusive events, such as product launches, grand openings, and business anniversaries.
In addition to conveying your care and appreciation, hosting events can help you build stronger relationships with your clients. Get your guests excited about your event by sending them attractive invites that look classy and exclusive. Here’s an invitation template you can customize for your own use:
Want to go the extra mile? Offer your clients exclusive gifts and discounts at your events. If you’re a restaurant owner, for example, you can give your clients a coupon book.
Treating your clients like VIPs can go a long way in showing them you care. It indicates that their business means a lot to you and that you’re willing to put in the effort to strengthen your relationship with them.
#5 Frequently Ask for Feedback
Working with B2B clients often requires you to deal with changing needs and wants. Don’t wait for the client to tell you that you’ve done something wrong or that they don’t need your deliverables anymore.
Arrange regular meetings with your clients to go over your progress, revisit your goals, and ask for feedback. This indicates that you’re proactively doing your best to help them grow their business, which they’ll appreciate.
In fact, a Microsoft study revealed that 77% of customers have a more favorable view of brands that ask for feedback. Now, don’t just ask for generic feedback. Go in-depth and ask questions regarding how they feel about working with you and whether they have any issues with your progress.
Thank them for positive feedback, and try to improve on the negatives instead of defending yourself or giving excuses. Just the fact that you’re taking their feedback seriously says a lot about how much you care for your clients.
#6 Deliver on What You Promise
This might sound obvious, but the best way to express care for your clients is by keeping the promises you make. Big talk won’t get you anywhere—tangible results will.
Don’t just tell your clients you’ll deliver high quality. Establish what “high quality” means to your clients in the form of goals and KPIs. And then make sure you meet, or even better, exceed those expectations.
Delivering on your promises doesn’t only mean getting results. It also means following up when you say you will, and arriving at any scheduled meetings and calls on time. The more you prove you’re a person of your word, the more your client will be able to trust you with their business.
#7 Spread the Word About Their Business
Tell your clients that you care about their business by publicly supporting them within your personal and professional networks. Here are some things you can do to spread the word:
- Use social media to generate positive word of mouth about your client. Shower some love in the form of shares, likes, comments, and saves on their posts.
- Promote your client’s website, company, products, and services with honest, positive reviews after trying them out for yourself.
- Leave good reviews on various websites and platforms about your client’s business. It indicates that you care about their success as much as they do.
- Sharing testimonials from your clients can do more than help build trust with your audience. Add your client’s name, headshot, and logo in a testimonial video to spread awareness about their business.
Another way to support your clients is to send them referrals. After all, there’s nothing more valuable to a business than more business!
#8 Adapt to Their Tools and Workflows
Every business handles things differently, and your clients may be using certain tools and processes to get things done that you’re not familiar or comfortable with. Tell them that you care by adapting to their workflows instead of asking them to adapt to yours. For example, if you normally use Slack for communication but your client prefers email, stick to email.
Adjusting your workflows shows your clients that you prioritize their time and convenience. Plus, it makes you look flexible and open to change. This also applies to how frequently you communicate, the way you manage projects, and even your reporting schedule. Always make sure your client is comfortable with your workflow—you don’t want to drive them away by coming across as annoying, intrusive, or difficult to work with.
#9 Remember Their Name and Preferences
Personalization can go a long way in helping you strengthen your client relationships. And it can be as simple as learning to pronounce their name properly and remembering it the next time you see them. It means that you value who they are as a person instead of treating them as some sort of a money-making machine.
Go beyond names by taking note of their preferences. And I don’t just mean their favorite flavor of ice-cream, or how they like their coffee. Notice (and remember) the way they like to do business:
- What payment method do they use?
- What kind of reporting schedule suits them best?
- Do they prefer you call, text, or email them?
- Are they available to talk on the weekends?
Staying mindful of these small details will show clients that you’re paying attention to their likes and dislikes, and that you care about making them feel comfortable working with you.
#10 Provide Them with Valuable Resources
Another way to show clients you care is by providing them with in-depth and sufficient information about your business, products and services. It tells them that you have nothing to hide and that you’re confident about your ability to help them achieve their goals.
But most importantly, it demonstrates that you care enough to empower them to make an informed decision, even if it means they walk away from your company. Send your clients interactive ebooks, website links, videos, and anything else that helps them learn more about your business, industry, and how you aim to help them. The more they understand your business and familiarize themselves with your processes, the more they’ll be able to trust and feel connected to you.
#11 Create Engaging Reports and Presentations
Don’t bore your clients to sleep with long, bland documents. Put together engaging reports, proposals, and presentations that clients would actually want to read rather than just skim through. This says that you care enough to put in the effort to keep clients interested in your progress and work.
Instead of throwing in never-ending tables full of numbers and figures, add engaging data visualizations like charts, graphs, maps, progress bars, and pictographs. Similarly, use timelines and process visualizations to present roadmaps.
Your clients will thank you for it. And if you think that’s too much work, it’s not. Use a tool like Visme to create stunning presentations, documents, explainer videos, and more with the help of easy-to-customize templates. Here’s a project status report template you can edit and download right now.
Using online tools like Visme can save tons of your valuable time and money. You don’t need to download any complex software or hire a professional designer—you can easily create amazing-looking reports all by yourself.
There are millions of built-in graphic assets in Visme that can help you create highly visual documents and presentations. Using visuals can add more value to your reports by enabling you to tell the full story. It also helps the clients focus on the bigger picture instead of getting tangled up in the details.
#12 Own Up to Your Mistakes
Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, no matter how experienced or professional we are. It’s what makes us human. The only difference is that a true professional knows the importance of taking responsibility for their mistakes and doing whatever it takes to fix them.
Don’t try to hide or cover up—or, even worse, blame your client—if you mess something up. Instead, acknowledge that you’ve made a mistake and apologize for it. Your client has every right to be angry or disappointed, but they’ll respect you for being honest with them.
Make it up to them by doing your best to fix your mistakes. If it’s something that can’t be fixed, then communicate that to your client and find a way to move past it.
You can also offer discounts, gifts and refunds to make up for your mistake. When a client sees that you truly regret letting them down, they’ll be more likely to move past it and continue doing business with you.
Learn to Take Better Care of Your Clients
Caring for your clients and expressing it clearly is one the best things you can do for your company.
As humans, we all value personal connection, even when it comes to doing business. Your clients need to feel like they’re working with good, honest people who are deeply vested in their growth and success. And when they do, they’ll be more than happy to give you repeat business and even recommend you to others.
Start taking better care of your clients, and watch your business grow at rocket-speed.
Mahnoor Sheikh is a content marketing manager at Visme, a visual content creation platform. She loves to talk about digital marketing, branding and visual design, and is passionate about tea, kittens and traveling with her husband.