Years ago, we started a program in our studio called RAK or Random Acts of Kindness after I read the book Hug Your Customers by Jack Mitchell. Being a boutique studio, I realized that we could do much better in this area if we could only remember details about our clients. This is what we did years ago to start hugging our clients and we still do today.
- Created a Hug Calendar. If a client said anything that we could acknowledge with a gift or note, we put it on our studio calendar (aka Hug Calendar) to remember to send something.
- We set up accounts at various vendors so that our staff could act on any information that came in and act quickly. We set a spending limit per month on RAK gifts so it wouldn’t get out of hand.
- We designed and ordered cards from WHCC that could be used for a variety of occasions such as “Thank You” or “Thinking of You” or simply “Celebrate.” We also have a blank with a nice quote on it.
- We bought a few gift cards from local vendors such as the frozen yogurt place, Fazoli’s and McDonalds to keep on hand in case we needed to pop a gift in the mail along with the appropriate notecard.
- We listened and paid attention when our customers were telling us about things that were happening in their lives !
As I was researching this, I ran across a few more ideas to help you hug your customer!
- Be appreciative. Be sure to thank your customers often and if you can, send them a special offer that is reserved for only a handful of your VIP clients.
- Create expectations and then fill them. Your clients need to know what to expect and if you don’t let them know, they may imagine an entirely different scenario and then are disappointed when things don’t work out the way they thought.
- As listed above, LISTEN. Actively listen to what your customers are saying and write things down to be added to the Hug Calendar later.
- Make it easy to do business with you! Don’t make your customers jump through hoops. Go to them when you can to save them a trip. Work with their schedules as often as you can.
- Deliver what you promise in a timely manner.
- Train your staff to “hug.” Create a culture of hugs and brainstorm on additional creative ways to pamper your customers.
- Respect your customers (aka The Golden Rule)
- Promptly respond to any issue they may have and resolve it to their satisfaction.
The Klimpton Hotel is a boutique hotel that was created in 1981. Bill Klimpton, the founder, wanted to create a new kind of hotel experience for travelers by making the feel warm and cozy and not just with Egyptian cotton sheets and a pillow menu. He believed and still does that intimacy is created by really seeing and touching the traveler. He has embedded a culture of caring (our RAK program) and encourages all of his employees to have an entrepreneurial vision and passion for their work.
I leave you with this quote from Bill Klimpton.
“We don’t have a lot of fussy procedures and manuals lying about telling us how we have to do something. We’re compelled by utter desire to be the best human beings we can possibly be. Turns out, that’s good for business.”
Have a great week full of hugs, both given and received! Bev