It’s the silly season, a time when deadlines shorten and a stream of parties loom. And now is a great time to refocus your client communications plan for the year ahead.
Personally, I’m all in favour of sending a card or a small thank-you gift at this time of year. It gives you the chance to re-establish communication with those clients who haven’t heard from you since you last sent them an invoice several months ago. Just a simple season’s greeting thanking your clients for their support can be enough to put you back at the forefront of their minds, and may even prompt some of them to request your help with those jobs they’ve been procrastinating over for ages.
But it’s important not to stop with Christmas.
Business is about building ongoing relationships with your clients. Every interaction is an opportunity to deliver on your brand promises and in so doing increase client loyalty.
You’ve already invested time and money marketing your product or service to your clients and prospects. Client retention is far more cost-effective than client acquisition, so it’s important to keep marketing to the clients and contacts you’ve worked so hard to acquire.
Including a simple client communications plan in your marketing strategy will help keep those orders flowing in.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business relationships section.
Starting with Christmas, create a calendar of communications ‘events’ that outlines the key messages and modes of communication you’re going to use on occasions in the coming year that are relevant to your business and client base.
With a written client communications plan and your key messages already scheduled on your calendar, you’ll find it easier to write your newsletter content or phone call script when the time comes to implement each stage of your plan.
Being top of mind with your clients should be your primary goal. Besides Christmas cards (or New ‘working’ Year cards if you want to stand out from the pack), other methods that can help you achieve this include a simple phone call or SMS, an e-newsletter, a questionnaire or survey, or announcements publicising the relaunch of your website, your latest blog post, or your current sales promotion.
Of course, nothing is worse than bombarding clients with fluff and being regarded as spam. To be effective, your client communications plan must incorporate a consistent and engaging series of quality messages that are always in line with your brand.
Everyone’s approach to client communications plan is different. What works for you? Please share your successes (and failures) below.