How can we reward our long-term clients or thank them for continually using our service, without saying “thanks for supporting my business”?
A client sent me an email asking if it was possible to reward her long term clients with a freebie of some kind.
She mentioned that they were ‘loyal’ customers and she therefore wanted to reward them.
As a customer/client/patient myself (to various type’s professionals such as yoga or Kung-Fu teachers, osteopaths, massage practitioners etc) I have received emails saying similar things; “thanks for being a loyal client”. And at the end of the year especially, I’ve read “thanks for supporting me this year” or “thanks for supporting my business”.
When I read those words I think to myself; I’m not supporting you in your business. I come to you because … you’re a fantastic yoga teacher or you’re a great massage practitioner. You offer a great service, you’re good at what you do and I will therefore keep returning.
So let’s reframe the ‘loyal client’ idea
Clients do not support you. They are not necessarily loyal to you. They appear to be loyal because you do your job consistently well, over a long period of time.
So, it’s more about you being good at what you do, and you supporting them. They therefore continue to ‘use your service’.
2 non-wellbeing related examples
We don’t return to a restaurant repeatedly because we want to be a loyal client. We return because the food is fantastic!
However, someone that chose to visit a small local shop to purchase instore during partial covid lockdowns, rather than buying the same products off the internet, now that’s definitely a loyal client!
Let’s look at the definition of ‘support’
I don’t think we really need to, because we all know what it means, but let’s look at the definition of support anyway, offered by the Cambridge dictionary:
support verb [T] (ENCOURAGE)
to agree with and give encouragement to someone or something because you want him, her, or it to succeed:
So there we have it; It’s actually you the practitioner, who agrees to give ‘encouragement’ (support) because you want your clients to ‘succeed’ (be healthy in body and mind etc).
So really, your clients should be thanking you for your support, and not the other way around 😉
So, what’s the solution to offering your long-term clients rewards?
When you’re thinking of ‘sweetening the deal’ for your clients or rewarding them in some way, or maybe you just want to thank them for coming to you, perhaps think along the lines of gifting them something because you care about them. Or whatever tickles your fancy at the time. Be creative.
For example: As a long-term customer, I’d love to offer you a few free wellbeing videos, to help you look after yourself during the holiday season.
You can also question yourself; how do my clients benefit from what I provide?
- What do your clients GAIN from working with you?
- What are the BENEFITS of the work you offer?
- What are you actually OFFERING? Clue; the answer is not ‘massage’ or ‘yoga’ or ‘counselling’.
- What PROBLEMS are you solving?
Those questions could lead you to the following end of year thank you;
I’m so happy that you enjoy finding peace, calm and realignment in my yoga classes.
It’s a pleasure having you in class.
I’d love to offer you some free wellbeing videos to help you look after yourself during the holiday season.
Ok, that’s a lot more words than “thanks for supporting my business”, but I bet you felt much more valued as a client, when you read that paragraph above?
Also, when you repeat ideas around ‘the benefits of your service’, it reinforces the message about why clients come to you. It’s a win win really.
And perhaps if they have not been to you for a few months, they might be left thinking “ah yeah, I really need to get back to class again soon!”
You can ask your clients those same questions
You can also take opportunities to ask your clients ‘how do these sessions help you?’. Or listen closely to what they say, as often this information comes up in conversation.
For example; a few years ago a client arrived for a massage. I asked her, what do you need from today’s session and she replied, one of your lovely blissful, nurturing massages please. There you have it, just one benefit of having a massage with me. That actually helped me craft my USP (unique selling point) which is also a very important part of your business! Perhaps more about that another day.
You can use all those benefits to improve your marketing and website content too!
I hope you found this helpful
I hope this is a helpful reframing and please do leave any comments or ideas below.
And when the time comes, enjoy crafting your thanks to your long-term clients, in a creative way!