Updated: Apr 18, 2020
Heading into week two of our stay-at-home orders, my wife and I encouraged our 5 and 4 year-olds to find new, quiet activities to occupy themselves while we took work calls and video conferences. It was only week two, so we tried the typical blackboard schedule, learning time, activity hour, and all the cutesie teaching-from-home rituals we found on instagram.
Three minutes into each quiet activity, one of them would bust down our office door demanding snacks, TV, or the infamous “beat-up daddy game”. After explaining to them that they can’t snack all day, too much TV can hurt their eyes, and daddy’s ribs are still healing from the last game, we dug through the toy cabinet and found a couple floor puzzles. Two glorious, quiet hours later, my wife and I never felt so productive thanks to the challenging, quiet engagement of kids’ puzzles. Here’s where all good client relationship development initiatives usually begin, right?
1.) We have a pain point.
2.) We find a solution that helps ease the pain. 3.) We wonder if our clients have that same pain point. 4.) We provide that solution to our clients in hopes it eases their pain. In this case, our pain point and solution is both familial and universal, which created a recipe for a fun, impactful client touch point. I immediately found a dozen inexpensive $10 puzzles on Amazon and shipped them to clients (who I know have young children at home) with a note reminding them I’m thinking about them and hoping the puzzle gave them the same 2-hour reprieve it gave us.
For clients who have older kids, I sent unique family board games “to invoke a rare Netflix-free evening”.
For clients with no kids, I sent 1,000 piece puzzles encouraging them to “step away from Zoomageddon and give your eyes a screen break.” The response has been overwhelming. My clients loved the gifts and loved the thought. During these challenging times, there’s significant benefit to sending the latest thought leadership, renegotiating contracts, saving money, containing costs, retaining employees, etc. The question I ask myself during these times is, “What are my clients dealing with right now?” As much as they’re dealing with these industry-related issues, they’re also dealing with the same issues you, me, and every American is dealing with at home. Physically sending my clients a reminder that I care about them and their families will, if nothing else, diversify the dimensions of our relationship. Just as these puzzling times are reshaping work-life balance with our employers, so too are they reshaping work-life relationships with our clients. Take a minute today and think about how you can remind your clients you’re thinking about them beyond a text, email, or call. What are they managing and how can you help them manage it better? If you’re looking to build a stronger relationship with your clients, maybe the answer to that question could be your missing piece to the puzzle.