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Note: This resource is part of our Moving the Bar in Your Career and Your Life, a unique approach to professional development series: Building Enviable Customer Relationships. Click here to see the entire series.

There has been much written, especially these days, about the importance of staying in touch with your clients. It is critical, they say, to reach out on a consistent basis to remind your clients what you do and the value that your business provides for them. So true! But it can take a lot of time and effort, which many businesses don’t have the inclination or discipline to invest. So this got me thinking: if you were to treat your clients like you do your friends and family, and communicate accordingly, would that increase the importance of these activities for you…and help you to do a better job at staying in touch? Let’s take a closer look at some examples.

When Do You Reach Out to Friends & Family?

Why Not Do the Same with Clients?

Anytime you think of them. Now is a great time. Don’t delay. Just pick up the phone and do it.
Holidays and other special occasions. Call or send a personal note to show you’re thinking about them and appreciate them.
When something good has happened for you. Launched a new product? Added a new service? Let them know about it and how it can help them.
When something good has happened for them. Let them know that you appreciate having clients who work hard to get results and are successful.
It’s been a long time and you’d like to catch up. Feeling guilty about not being in touch? The longer you wait, the less they will care about you.
When something not so good has happened for you. Speak openly with them about the efforts you are making to get it right and to be even better in the future.
When something not so good has happened for them. Empathize with them and let them know you care. Ask them if there is any way that you can help.
When they call or write you. If you can’t take their call right then, then always follow up quickly. Show you care that they took the time to reach out to you.
When you think you may have done something to upset them. If you suspect they’re unhappy with you, don’t run from the storm, turn into it. This is a great opportunity to show your stuff and make things right.
The bottom line is that there is never a bad time to reach out to your clients…and never a good enough excuse not to. Clients pay your bills, fund your paychecks, and keep you in business. Peter Drucker said that "The function of business is to attract and maintain customers." Period. If that’s not reason enough to treat your clients like family and friends, I don’t know what is!