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Victoria Munro and Dave Block of Make-it-FlyClients are “the Heart of Your Business” –
Do they Know You Care?
Part One of a Two-Part Series

By Dave Block and Victoria Munro

Printable version

Building long-term relationships with your current clients and turning them into loyal fans will yield big dividends. The rewards personally and professionally can be enormous. Growing a business in this way won’t happen overnight, but following a plan to further develop client relationships will result in solid, meaningful friendships and steady business growth

Research conducted by a numerous companies indicate that marketing to your existing clients will return at least five times more bottom-line profit than the same dollar spent on marketing to new clients.

Building Long-Term Client Relationships Works Well Because:

You have already established a relationship with these clients. They know, like and trust you, and are ready to listen to you.
They have experienced the quality of your service or products and the resulting benefits, and are ready to order again.
Clients who know and trust you are much more likely to recommend you to others.

It’s not only less expensive to market to current clients, it’s easier and more fun – you’re working with friends you care about!

How to Develop Client Relationships that Let Them Know You Care

Take the time and make the effort to get to know your clients:

Ask questions and listen to them.
Understand and make note of their needs, concerns, challenges and roadblocks.
Find out about their passions, interests and hobbies.
Discover how they enjoy their non-work time. Do they read? What type of books?
Make note of dates important to them: birthdays, anniversaries, when and where you met them, and past business transactions with them.

Set up a customer relationship management system to easily keep track of this information. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to help them and advance their interests whenever you can.

Pay Attention to Complaints and Use them to Your Advantage

View complaints as opportunities to position yourself as a candid, committed problem solver. Research shows that when customers have a problem with a company and have that problem spectacularly solved, they become more loyal to that company than customers who never experienced a problem. Time and energy spent solving a client's problem reaffirms and strengthens any trust that was broken.

Remember: Clients don't expect you to be perfect, they just expect you to care!

What Do Your Clients Really Think? Using Surveys

Discovering what your clients really think, and how they feel can be enlightening. It can reveal problems that you may not be aware of, and expose areas that you can improve.

If we talk to them directly, they may be afraid to hurt our feelings, may tell us only what they think we want to hear. A survey conducted by an independent third party, can produce more valuable results. Consider hiring someone else to conduct your survey. There are companies that specialize in designing and implementing customer surveys.

If you decide to conduct a client survey, consider the following:

Establish clear goals for the survey – know what you want to learn.
Create a few clear, easily understood questions. Open-ended questions will result in more information.
Consider offering an incentive or reward of some kind.
Be courteous and considerate of your clients – is this a convenient time for them?
Thank them for their time.

Analyze and act on the information you receive. Thank your clients again for participating in the survey. Let them know how they have helped you and tell them of any changes you made or are planning to make as a result.

Communicate Frequently with Your Clients

Connect with them via mail, phone email and, when appropriate, in person. Thank them at every opportunity, give them referrals, acknowledge specials occasions, and look for ways to praise or give them feedback.

Keep in touch and let them know you care!

(631 words)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

Click here for printable version.

About the Authors: Dave Block and Victoria Munro are co-founders of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small business owners through creatively-designed programs and tools. Dave is known as the “Master Networker” in the business community and loves sharing how to become a successful business owner by learning the art of networking. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses.. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

You’re welcome to “reprint” this article in your ezine, print publication or on your website, as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the “about the author” info at the end). Please send a copy of your reprint to

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