As business owners, we all dream about having super fans. We want droves of people to sing our praises and tell everyone they know about how much our products and services have made a positive difference in their lives.
But as many companies get to the point where they start to gain traction with a critical mass of raving fans, they do the unthinkable: They start to create as much distance as possible between themselves and their customers.
Often citing overwhelm, and an overly busy schedule, taking time out to connect and appreciate the people who fueled these entrepreneurs' success, becomes something that easily falls off the to-do list. No bueno.
That's why stories of businesses that make a point to appreciate their customers get such great press. People like to feel acknowledged, and seen. And when businesses and brands do that, it's a win for all.
Unsure of what this looks like in action? Take a lesson from Kim Kardashian West's playbook.
Kim Kardashian West shows the right way to treat your best customers
A while back, Kim Kardashian West's self-proclaimed biggest fan tweeted her to let her know she would be at an upcoming Kanye West concert in New Orleans.
During the concert, Kim sent a Twitter message to the fan letting her know she was sending her bodyguards to get her and her friend so they could sit with her in the VIP section.
After the show, Kim took the fan and her friend backstage to meet Kanye, where they snapped a photo together.
It was a night to remember for the super fan. But Kim took it a step further when a few months later she sent the fan shirts from the concert, along with a handwritten Christmas card.
MTV recreated the tale in this Facebook video, with the fan giving the play-by-play of how everything went down, illustrated with an animated version of the story. To date, the video has more than 17 million views.
Drop to the comments section, and you'll see a number of messages like this:
"I'm not into Kim like that but that was very nice of her"
"I know a lot of people don't like the Kardashians or Kanye, but I absolutely LOVED this girl's enthusiasm for them. It really brought a smile to my face...I also thought it was super awesome for Kim to actually remember Myleeza and send her stuff. I appreciate little things like that."
If you want to bring more smiles to your customers' faces, take note of these essential lessons from this example:
1. Small gestures make a big difference
When it comes to delighting your customers, don't think that everything you do has to be over the top. It took very little effort on Kim's part to bring the fans to sit with her during the concert, and bring them backstage afterwards.
But the impact on the fan's experience was over the moon. Think of proactive things you can do to extend yourself to your customers. Even if it is something minor, such as giving them a shout out on social media.
2. Personal notes are always a nice touch
I am giddy whenever I receive a hand-written note from someone. It was nice before everything went digital, and it is even more of a treat these days when very few people write things out by hand.
The emphasis here is on personal touches that deepen the relationship, rather than the medium. Gary V does this well. There are times when he's called his fans on the phone and chatted with them while in transit to a meeting.
It takes time yes, but the memory and impression you'll create for those on the receiving end makes it all worth it.
3. Give your super fans extra special treatment
All customers aren't created equal. And just like those in your circle receive certain perks for being a part of your crew, your best customers and biggest fans should get something for the role they play in your business.
So give the people who love you most a reason to love you more. Give them a discount, exclusive time with you nobody else has access to, or even a nice gift that demonstrates that you see, know, and appreciate their love for your business.
Your company needs customers to thrive. And when you take the time to go the extra mile to appreciate the ones you do have, you'll soon have a strong force of loyal customers, which will fuel your growth.
Take the time to cater to the people who love your business most. You'll not only make life better for them in a way that far exceeds the effort you put in to do so, but you'll win the hearts of many others in the process.