The Power of a Gift
When the Client Services department was formed earlier this year, one of our key objectives was to create client magic. Client magic is defined as gifts, tokens, and authentic correspondence that delights our clients and ensure they feel the Metal Toad love. This is actually a reportable metric that I share with our executives and Advisory Board members to assess performance of our department. One of the ways we create client magic is by giving gifts.
According to Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages, there are five ways in which people express love. One of those languages is giving and receiving gifts. Some people get energy from receiving gifts while others get energy from giving gifts; at Metal Toad one of our languages is giving gifts. We respect and deeply value our clients. Showing them appreciation and gratitude in this way is important to us.
Occasions for which we may send a gift are to celebrate a new baby, a wedding or engagement, “hey, I know you’re going through a hard time”, congratulations on your promotion, congratulations on the product launch that we just collaborated on, condolences, and fun or silly tokens that would make someone smile. Anything that we learn about our clients that speaks to our hearts, we think about what we can do to celebrate or empathize with what they are going through on a personal or professional level. Another must is a handwritten card and in-person delivery, when possible.
Make no mistake, these are not bribes. There’s a difference between a gift from the heart and a weekend in Vegas with executives. More frequently we reward and celebrate the people on the frontlines who are often not recognized, our day to day collaborators who remove client side blockers and ease our development and project management.
The feedback we get from the recipients of our client magic is sincere gratitude. One of our client's product owners went on vacation for a week and things went off the rails on the client side. Daily prioritization stalled, blockers persisted, and communication declined. She was an unsung hero that Metal Toad (nor her superiors) realized the value she provided until she was gone. When she returned, we sent her a gift certificate for a massage with a handwritten note from the Metal Toad team. She said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her.
Gift giving and recognition makes Metal Toad sticky. It’s one way we differentiate ourselves from our competitors and results in client reengagements. Showing care and gratitude towards clients pays off — emotionally, personally, and professionally.