In the fourth part of his series on adviser business strategies, John Joe McGinley points to a new study and argues that businesses should ask whether they make clients and customers feel special every day.
The reason is clients who feel special are more likely to stay with a business, have increased repeat business and critically they will tell others why it makes them feel special.
Achieving that special feeling is never easy but not impossible. If we think about it, we can all recall businesses that make us feel special now or have done so in the past.
On the flip side I bet everyone can think of businesses that have let us down. How many of us have told our friends or relatives about this and perhaps even gone so far as to tell strangers online!
The power of feeling special can't be understated, because when consumers feel special they buy.
A recent experiment from Santa Clara University looked at this in depth.
Participants in the program were given the opportunity to purchase a discounted coffee mug.
Those who were told that they had been specially selected to receive a discount were 3 times more likely to purchase than those who had been told everyone was getting the discount.
This research showed that feeling special is all linked to our self-esteem and that opportunities or a service that makes us feel we stand out from the crowd make us more willing to purchase or remain with a business.
My questions to every business would be "what do you do for your clients that's makes them feel special and what distinguishes your service from your competitors"?
The simplest way to find out what makes your customers and future prospects feel special is to ask and listen to them.
To listen is the key
Many businesses make an art of communicating with clients in a linear one directional manner when a true conversation involves more than one person.
How many businesses give clients the time and ability to communicate with them? And if they do listen, do they act upon what they say?
Asking the simple question" what can we do to make you feel special?" and acting on the answers if they are achievable and financially viable is just the start of the journey.
The businesses that really make people feel special are those that allow their clients to engage with them on a regular basis.
This engagement can be in many ways but is most effective and profitable through a web site and social media.
Again I would ask does your website or social media presence allow your clients to engage with you? Or does it just allow one way communication?
Making clients feel special isn't some fluffy marketing term - it really can add to the bottom line and help boost profitability and aid retention.
It is best illustrated in a quote from Henry Ford, a man who built a business empire from nothing: "The business which is dedicated to customer service will have only one problem with profits, they will be embarrassingly large"
If our propositions make our clients feel special we should not be embarrassed by the results.
John Joe McGinley is head of Glassagh Consulting @glassaghconsult