You wouldn’t think that a Shark would tell you that it’s important to make your customers feel special but that’s exactly what Daymond John, the CEO and founder of FUBU, and regular contributor on Shark Tank did when he spoke at the Archangel Summit in Toronto.
He talked about valuing your customers, communicating with them regularly and doing things to make them feel special. He spoke about picking up the phone and calling your customers on a regular basis, to say hello or wish them a happy birthday. Even if you get voicemail, a message from you is always going to be more powerful than an email or text message.
Emails regularly get misinterpreted because we read them through the filter of how we’re feeling in that moment, not through the feeling of the sender. However, when you speak to someone, you can hear the enthusiasm and sincerity in their voice.
Email and text messaging have become overused methods of communication, while phone calls have declined in popularity.
When I was out of town recently, I found something that immediately made me think of one of my customers so I decided to buy it and I’ll be sending it to her. This was a random item that I know will have a high level of meaning for her. I didn’t go out looking to buy something for this individual, rather, I saw it and thought of her so I bought it.
This is exactly what a client of mine did for me when she was shopping for school supplies and stumbled upon a couple notebooks that were colorful and fun and had illustrated dachshunds on the cover. She bought two of them, enclosed a beautiful note and sent it to me.
It was really nice and very thoughtful of her to do this, and it meant the world to me.
Your customers DO notice when you do things like that. You don’t have to send them a $100 bottle of wine, or a fancy gift that cost a fortune, send them something that you know will be meaningful for them.
When I was at the Archangel Summit, I was also hosting a group of 15 women. Our first evening, one of the attendees showed up with a special stone for every person that had a meaningful message attached to it, and a big bottle of Bailey’s in case anyone wanted it in their coffee. Again, an extremely thoughtful gesture.
When you make people feel good, they want to be around you.
Here are a few easy ways you make people feel good and standout:
1. Send handwritten notes to your customers on a regular basis. Become mindful and aware when you are talking to people and you’ll see opportunities to send them messages.
2. Send your clients a book you’ve recently read with a personalized note letting them know why you think they might like it.
3. Pick up the phone and call them randomly every once in a while, especially on their birthday. My friend Joe who passed away last year used to always call me on my birthday. He was usually one of the first people to call and wish me a special day. The first year he wasn’t here to do that, I really missed him. Don’t underestimate the value of calling people.
4. Gift clients tickets to an event you’re hosting. Every year, members of Profit Pods get a free ticket to Money, Mindset and Marketing. It’s my way of thanking them for being clients of mine and it also allows me to bring people who have a really high level of energy and positivity to my event. While I never ask them to say nice things about the work we do together, it naturally happens and always makes me feel good. I receive so much more from them than the value of the ticket I give.
5. Give meaningful feedback that lets people know you see them, you hear them, and they matter. Dr. Shefali says we are all the same, we all want to know that we are seen, heard and matter. When you start to really understand that kindness matters more than knowledge, everything shifts. Kindness is an incredibly powerful tool for building your business, retaining your customers and attracting referrals.
Keep in mind these two things:
a) Kindness always has to be sincere and given with no expectation in return.
b) Kindness does not equate to weakness in any way.
You can be kind, and still have boundaries and difficult conversations with people. Kindness is not a replacement for avoiding difficult conversations. You want your customers to value and appreciate you while also respecting you.
In a busy world of social media notifications, too many emails and a long list of to do’s, making your customers feel good is one way you can stand out from the crowd.
You don’t have to wear a Chewbacca mask to stand out to your customers, all you need to do is be present, and start focusing on how you can make the people who do business with you, feel good about that experience.
This article originally appeared on lisalarter.com