Sometimes the difference between delivering what’s expected and the WOW factor is smaller than most people think.
I’ve heard them called “one percenters”. Sometimes you might be doing a good job already, but all it takes is just a minute change to turn a run-of-the-mill process into a decidedly more special experience.
If your clients end up telling others about it, who knows what could happen!
Here are ten examples to consider:
1. Handwritten notes – I once heard a young CEO tell how he managed to get meetings with 30 of his most experienced peers simply because he followed the advice of a business etiquette book written in the 1920s. One of the things he used to achieve this was simply a handwritten note, composed on thick quality paper with an ink pen. So simple, yet instantly more personal than an email.
2. Reserved parking – Being able to offer clients a place to park is great. If when they arrive their name is written on the Reserved sign, it’d be hard not to feel valued. All it takes is a small branded sign with an insert slot, and someone’s time to print out a name.
3. The pen is mighty – I’m not sure where I first heard the story, but it tells of a couple who, whilst signing documents with their adviser, commented on the quality of his pen. A few days later, the very same model of pen (new) arrived at their home by post. Of course, the adviser had gone to the trouble of not only choosing a great pen, but also buying a stock of them in expectation of this very deliberate way of wowing his clients.
4. Want to chat, have camera – Online video is providing a much more personal way of not only communicating, but also sharing documents, images and other visual tools in a way you can’t on the phone. However, being able to use this medium is dependent on your clients having the right equipment. Unless of course part of your approach is to send them a webcam and a link to the short YouTube video you recorded explaining how to install it.
5. Video messages – On the same theme, it’s incredible how much easier it is to record a quick video message to camera, or record your screen whilst you commentate (e.g. for instructional videos), compared to an email, not to mention much more personal. Now imagine your short video is to update clients on some element of their portfolio. Instant differentiation from the daily noise of e-communication. For screen recording, you can’t go past the free program Jing.
6. Google Alert them – I once heard a tale of a CEO who, upon being promoted to a significantly more senior position, was blown away to receive a letter of congratulations from a hotel he frequented in New York. His first thought was, “Wow. How did they do that?” My guess is a variation on using Google Alerts. For advisers with high profile clients, setting up search terms for those clients will often enable you to unexpectedly congratulate them on a promotion or other personal success when it happens.
7. Make an introduction – Business and life are team sports, and the value of relationships and networks in that game is significant. Personally, one of the most valuable things for me is being introduced to someone with whom mutual value can be created. As an adviser, you sit at the centre of a web of all different types of people and businesses. The right intro can be remembered for a long, long time.
8. Publicise their business – Sure, sharing information about specific clients businesses in your own newsletters (either as an advert, or perhaps a short article or video interview) might not necessarily bring that client floods of business, but the gesture will likely be well-remembered.
9. Find their “thing” – Everybody has something, whether it’s a fondness for commercial aircraft spotting, a history of playing in a band, love for a specific golf course or worthwhile cause, or even just an interest in a quirky topic. Remembering it, even if it’s just in passing comment or by sending through an article of interest, shows you’re listening.
10. Christmas decorations – And finally, ditch the cards and grab some decorations. It’s a gift that won’t break the bank, yet it’s amazing the creative ideas out there. I once found some crazy Dutch cows at a shop in Chatswood, but for those for whom shopping is not their favourite activity, Etsy is a great option.
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