Last week, July 1st, was Canada Day. My family and I wanted to take the day to celebrate and join in the festivities - to connect with fellow Canadians - and be part of something bigger than ourselves.

So out we went, into the community. And we found lots of festivals and activities ... but the one thing that really struck me was HOW Canada Day was being "offered" by the community to its' citizens. I see Canada Day as a day to celebrate all that Canada is - honour our fellow Canadians and connect with all that it means to be Canadian.

Here's what we experienced:

  • Festivals with markets and kiosks of every kind ... encouraging us to spend money
  • Buskers performing ... for money
  • Shops with sales ... wanting us to spend money
  • Discount offers at every turn ... trying to get us to spend money
  • ... and more ...

Are you getting the picture???

Although we truly did have a fabulous day as a family, connecting with each other and honouring our own values, we saw and experienced very little focus on BEING CANADIAN and CELEBRATING CANADA. There was a great deal of focus on commercial enterprise (disguised as celebrations).

I wondered, how might the flavour, values, and unique characteristics of Canada have been better represented and how might the people of our country have felt more cherished and honoured for all that they contribute to our magnificent country?

So, in reflection, I thought about businesses and how they, in turn, honour and celebrate their best clients, their advocates, and their communities.  How do you celebrate the people who make your business successful? How do you thank them for all their support?

In return for their trust, support and loyalty, they have earned and deserve your gratitude and your appreciation.

The quiet summer weeks ahead are a great time to design and implement your own client appreciation strategy, or, at the very least, adjust the one you have. Schedule ONE focused hour per week for the next 4 weeks. Meet with your team. Discuss your parameters. Draft out your plan. Define it in detail and set it in motion, starting in September ... or sooner!

Remember, appreciating your clients is a regularly recurring process that is aligned with your overall business plan. Ad Hoc attempts at honouring and appreciating your valued clients can seem insincere because they are not part of a bigger, better and balanced client experience.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  1. What would you most want your clients to experience from your appreciation strategy?
  2. How do you want to communicate with your clients?
  3. What overall message do you want them to know about you?
  4. What is the profile of your ideal client? Who are they? What do they need from you? How are you delivering an exceptional experience for them?
  5. Do you want to contact all your clients at once? Or in smaller groups?
  6. What are some ways that you can make a memorable impact on their lives?
  7. What feels right for you? Honour your own values too – or you will feel awkward in your delivery.

Good luck and enjoy this part of your business – this is the time you get to really connect with your favourite and most valued clients. And if you do a good job of it, those clients are likely to refer you to people who are much like them.  And who doesn't want more clients just like their BEST clients?!

Live your dream,