Last week we were on holiday in the Lake District. We had a wonderful time visiting some great places including Grizedale Forest, the Safari Park, Sizergh Castle, the Steam Railway and Aquarium, Cartmel, Ulverston and Grange-over-Sands – but what made it truly special (apart from the excellent company), was the holiday cottage we stayed in.

I’ve not met Simon in person, however, he managed to make us feel really welcomed and at home in the cottage. The email we received before we arrived detailed not only how to get there, but great places to eat and shop, the website for the cottage is full of useful information to read before you get there and when we arrived as well as all the leaflets for various places, there was a big folder full of recommendations, walks and anecdotes which was worth reading. In addition, there was milk, tea, biscuits, tea towels, bedlinen – all the kind of things you’d expect and more – the cottage was equipped for pretty much every eventuality. I’d brought things with me I didn’t need to use, like a mixing bowl, my electric scales (we can’t go a week without homemade pizza), a cheese grater, a really good knife – you get the idea -there was everything I could possibly have needed in the kitchen. There was even tools and wood glue and a tape measure, board games – you name it, it was there somewhere! And the logs for the wood burning stove of course. We felt at home right away. It was an absolutely lovely place to stay.

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Then just this week, I heard about a great idea that Cahors Country House have where they have a stuffed felt owl called Oscar at the holiday home which writes to the children before they arrive, sends them emails, has a letter for them when they get there, can go places and do stuff with them when they get there and then when they leave he’ll send them a postcard to read at home too. I think that’s a brilliant idea for making children feel welcome!

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So this week, I wondered how you go about making your own clients feel welcome?

I think this is something I could definitely work on too, so I’ve had a little think about this and here are a few ideas:

– you could send them something before you meet them. A slice of cake. A pen. A postcard. It probably doesn’t need to be anything expensive or difficult to wrap, just something to show that you’re thinking about them. In the video I mention Postsnap – I neglect to mention that this sends a postcard! 

– SMILE. That one’s not hard 🙂

– you can make sure that you don’t forget to offer them a drink. Maybe even biscuits.

– be helpful. This is probably what you’re meant to be doing anyway, but make sure you do it in a friendly way, their needs are met and they’re not left feeling frustrated and abandoned.

– you can show genuine interest in your customers so they feel special (i.e., remembering when they’re on holiday to ask how it went, asking after their kids etc.)

– you can chat to them on social media, send them emails, signpost them to things that they might find interesting, articles, events, websites etc..

– thinking one step ahead. For example, if you own a coffee shop, having the coffee ready for a regular customer before they have to open their mouth

– be polite. Manners cost nothing!

– you could follow up with a thank you card

I’d love to know what ideas you have as I am sure that there are loads and loads more ideas – and of course more specific ones, depending on what you actually do. Please let me know what you are doing, or any ideas that you have, in the comments, I’m sure these will be really helpful for other people too.

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