I may be the only person perhaps on the planet that prefers my coffee room temperature — not hot, not iced, lukewarm.
I understand that this statement is basically sacrilege. I also take my coffee black so I can’t cool it down with a bit a cream.
Black, lukewarm, dark roast coffee. Try ordering that one at Starbucks.
My fiancé knows this and pours me a cup of coffee when he hears me get in the shower.
Now those who know us, know that by the time I’m in the shower, he’s already been up for an hour or more, showered, dressed, boiled water, pressed the coffee, and had himself a cup or two.
So, when I’m done in the shower and dressed, the coffee is perfect.
What can we learn from this?
- I have the best fiancé in the world.
- When you pay attention, great things happen.
I cannot put into words how much that small morning gesture means to me. When he is out of town, it’s one of the things I miss most.
You see, because while the big things matter, the little things can seal the deal.
Yes, he’s a great guy who’s kind, fun to be with, smart, and caring. But when people ask me what he’s like, I tell them about the coffee.
Client relationships are like that, too.
The big stuff matters. You need to deliver what you say you’re going to deliver. Your work needs to be good.
But, that’s just table stakes. You need to do those things.
To stand out, do more.
Pay attention to your client. Think about the little things like:
- When do they prefer to be contacted?
- Do they like frequent updates or does too much communication bother them?
- How do they like the copy formatted? HTML to load directly onto the blog?
- Can you provide links to stock images for them?
- How can you make status updates easy to access?
- Is there anything that stresses them out that you can fix?
- At the end of the project, how can you surprise them?
I like to talk to the team or check out their social media for favorite brands or habits. Maybe they love tea, so you can send some along. Maybe they have a favorite author who has a new book coming out. I have one client who I sent cupcakes to as a thank you.
These are the things people talk about later when someone asks, “How was Abbey to work with?”
“She did great work. And she mailed me cupcakes!”
Again, of course you have to do great work for these little things to make a difference. But they really do.
How do you find out what your clients like?
This is the easy part.
Social media has made it insanely simple to find out what your clients want.
A quick browse through their Facebook profile or Instagram feed and you’ll find out things like their favorite activities, favorite brands, lifestyle, and dreams.
I continue to find that people are applying this principle in surprising ways. So tell me yours!
When’s a time you went “above and beyond” for a client? (Or someone went “above and beyond” for you?). What was the reaction?