In business, we are tasked with continually evolving our service models to meet the ever-changing needs of our audiences. This is critical to upholding a competitive advantage and creating loyalty. Now, with the global pandemic, we are faced with evolving these service models at an even faster pace to stay connected with clients despite the lack of in-person events. Thinking outside the box to maintain strong client relationships can have a big impact on your bottom line. Explore our tips on how you can still leave a lasting impression below.
Tip #1) Get Personal with Video
At the onset of the global pandemic, many businesses quickly adopted virtual meeting tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to enhance meeting quality while remote. When in-person meetings aren’t possible, video calls can improve communications, reduce meeting time and ultimately deliver a more effective message. So, why stop there? Beyond virtual meetings, we can use video to replace another standard business communication: voicemails. Video voicemails are short videos sent via email that allow your message to stand out from the pack due to their visual nature and ability to make them more personal. These videos provide an opportunity to put a face to a name, share a fun fact about yourself and add variety to your communications. Tools like Loom and Soapbox provide this service.
Video Voicemail Ideas: Introduce a new teammate, share recent company news or check in on a complex to-do with your client. Authenticity is welcome—it’s okay if your kids pop into the background or your dog barks!
Tip #2) Empathize & Show Your Appreciation
Working long hours in a home office with no face-to-face interactions takes a toll on everyone. When reaching out to clients, make sure you take the time to listen to their challenges and be human. Try to find the positives in every situation or share ways you are coping in the remote work environment (going for a daily walk, meditating, spending more time with family). If a client is in need of a pick-me-up, send them a small package to express gratitude and appreciation for their loyalty.
Care Package Ideas: Send a package with a client’s favorite snack or drink they can enjoy with their family. Send them a small keepsake related to their hobbies or interests. In lieu of gifts, give them the option to have your company donate to a local charity of their choice.
Tip #3) Create Meaningful Connections
With the significant rise in virtual events, networking just got easier. Plus, the barrier to entry to host a virtual event is much lower than that of an in-person event with the lack of venue, food and travel costs.
Virtual happy hours with clients create a great opportunity for relationship building, but more importantly can create a sense of community among your audience. There is an opportunity to build upon these types of get-togethers to provide unique experiences and create more connections for your audience within their given industry. Take virtual happy hours a step further and provide a fun experience they will remember. Extend the invite to your client’s family members to make the evening even more special.
Another route to consider is virtual roundtables, inviting your audience to share ideas with one another. Provide a simple structure to guide the conversation, such a major trend or problem facing the industry. Beyond sharing connections and perspectives with one another, it gives you the chance to understand challenges and opportunities your audience is facing right now, like a focus group.
Virtual Event Ideas: Host a virtual wine-tasting event or a virtual trivia night. Try an informational roundtable to discuss current industry challenges and idea-share.
When trying new tools and initiatives like the ones described above, it is important to remember two things: Stay authentic to yourself (and your company’s values), and always measure the outcomes from these new initiatives.
While maintaining client connections is extremely important, so are employee connections. Visit our latest blog post, 4 Tips for Building Employee Connections in a Remote Environment, for tips on building employee connections remotely, including creative meeting ideas, internal campaigns, “drop and dash” celebrations and family-oriented game nights.
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