Great customer service is the lifeblood of any business. The goal of great customer service is all about providing a trusted and positive customer experience and ensuring they are happy and confident in their choice.  They say a good salesperson has the ability to sell anything to anyone at least once. However, the customer service provided CAN be that significant differentiator and determine if they continue to be a client.  By delivering a positive and trusted customer experience, you can not only increase the likelihood of up-selling opportunities, but also ensure your client will recommend you to others.  The essence of great customer service is forming a solid and trusted relationship with your clients.

#1 – First Impression

Ensure that every one of your customer facing associates are capable of making a good first impression. First opinions are formed within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone new. Being on time, prepared, being yourself and presenting yourself appropriately are all important traits that will affect that first impression.  You never have a second opportunity to make a warm and welcoming first impression.

#2 – Provide Timely Responses

Customer support response times can dictate how a client perceives your company and can affect the overall customer experience.  Keeping your clients informed in a timely manner by answering your phone and responding to emails within a reasonable time-frame are essential to great customer service.

#3 – Listen to Your Clients

There is nothing more exasperating for a customer than to communicate and explain things multiple times because you truly aren’t listening.  This can definitely have a negative effect on the overall customer experience.  It is imperative to always pay attention and REALLY hear what your customer is saying.  Let your client talk and show them that you are listening by reiterating what they’ve said and suggesting how to solve their specific problem.

#4 – Deliver a WOW Experience

A WOW experience is delivered by combining empathy and a true understanding of what your client is facing — and then identifying and resolving that challenge.  The best way to understand your customer is to look through the “lens of the customer”.  But be careful to not promise anything unless you are able to follow through with that promise. Being prompt and taking the extra steps goes a long way in showing your clients you care.

#5 – Show appreciation to your customers.

Thanking customers in a meaningful and thoughtful manner on every customer encounter shows clients you care and appreciate their business.  Showing our appreciation via a thank you note after a meeting, a “thank you” gift at Christmas, birthday greetings, taking a client to lunch or inviting them as your guest to a special function, etc.  The key to customer loyalty can be embodied in two simple words: “Thank you”.

Providing great customer service is integral to any successful business. It is about doing the right thing to the best of your ability and being that trusted adviser.  Taking care of your customers creates a trusted positive customer experience and helps encourage them to continue buying from your business through good times and bad.

Mitch Gipp is an experienced Client Engagement Manager who has worked in the telecom industry for over 22 years. For more information on Mitch’s tips, or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact him at


It’s getting to be that time of year again. Maybe you’re just starting to get settled into fall, back-to-school, or football season… It’s also a time of year we start to think, plan, and budget for the upcoming holiday season and corporate holiday gifts. It’s a great time, as a company, to step back and recognize clients and business partners that have contributed to your success throughout the year.

However too often, a well-intentioned gesture can come off lacking impact – or worse – give a negative impact.  If you are starting to look into corporate holiday gifts for your clients, partners, or colleagues this holiday season, don’t make these 3 mistakes with YOUR corporate holiday gifts.

Mistake #1 – Not Prioritizing Your Corporate Holiday Gift Budget

It doesn’t make sense to gift all your contacts in the exact same way. Firstly, you probably have clients your company invests more time/resources in than others. Secondly, you may want to recognize other types of contacts (partners, vendors, colleagues) in a different way.

TIP: Spread your holiday budget by dividing your list into 3 categories. This way, more budget can be spent on A contacts, less on B contacts, and least on C contacts. Each contact will receive a nice holiday recognition, and the big impact will go to your highest priority contacts.

Mistake #2 – Choosing the Gifts YOU Want vs What Your CLIENTS Want

Alright, now you have a budget and your lists together. You’re ready to select the PERFECT, most impressive, star-studded gift ever…something you would LOVE to have, right?


Only too often do companies gift items the recipient has no interest in. Not only could your gift have little or no effect, but it may come across in a negative way.

TIP: In a perfect world, holiday gifts would be customized for each and every client, but not many organizations can accommodate this. If you haven’t already completed a Persona Profile, a composite sketch of a key segment of your intended audience or client base, this would be a great exercise to truly understand your contacts/clients. Use your Persona Profile (or multiple if you have them) to select the perfect gift for your audience. Don’t forget to consider if the gift is intended for a department vs one single person. Still having trouble finding the perfect gift? There are many firms out there like Ruhlin Group that specialize in gift strategy (selecting the perfect gift) and ultimately, helping you stand out.

Mistake #3 – Forgetting About Timing

If the end goal of corporate gift giving is to recognize and make an impact, we must realize that breaking through the clutter is a serious issue. The last thing you want to do is wait until the last minute, rush through the motions just to “check the box” of corporate holiday gifts — and “uh oh” your recipient hardly notices your gift.

TIP: Just because many corporate holiday gifts are sent during December, doesn’t mean you should succumb to the temptation. Think about capturing the limelight of “first holiday gift” in October or November? Or even better yet – think outside the box and do your own strategy for year-long client recognition. 

Put it All Together Now

Now you are armed and ready with the knowledge to rock your next corporate holiday gift campaign and ensure you stand out with your clients!

Step-by-step for Organizing Your Next Corporate Holiday Gifts

  1. Determine the best timing for your client appreciation and corporate holiday gifts
  2. Gather your list of intended recipients and group them by contact type (client, business partner, vendor, etc.)
  3. Prioritize your list (As, Bs, Cs) and finalize your budget
  4. Select the perfect gift for each group (keeping client in mind, one person vs entire department)
  5. Pull the trigger on your well laid plans!
  6. Follow-up: make sure it was received, capture any feedback for next time

As Director of Marketing, Colleen Kranz is responsible for the Renodis corporate brand and identity, corporate communications and integrated marketing efforts company-wide. For more information on driving client relations, or if you have any comments or questions related to this post, please contact Colleen at