I want to share a story about developing client loyalty, and it’s got nothing to do with massage.

It has to do with gelato.

There’s a gelato place not far from where I live. It’s called The Sweet Spot, and you should definitely head on over there if you’re ever on the west side of Cleveland. Jef and I first went there because in addition to all kinds of crazy gelato flavors, they’ve also got a handful of AMAZING sorbetti and vegan gelato flavors (which are made with coconut milk).

  • For people in this particular population, it’s hit-or-miss whether we’ll be able to get what we need. But at The Sweet Spot, they’ve always got something that caters to us, without fail. The fact that we have only six choices out of 30-ish doesn’t matter, because at most places we have exactly zero.

The first time we dropped in, Jef tried the vegan gelato. The flavor was great, but the texture was off. He decided to go talk recipes with the owner, suggesting higher fat content. They chatted about different possibilities for a while before we left.

  • It’s rare to find someone who is not only open to feedback from customers, but excited about it. Add to that a business owner who’s open enough about her own methods to talk shop with a customer, and it’s a pretty unique experience.

Well, last night was Jef’s birthday, and we went back. Jef noticed right away that the vegan chocolate gelato looked smoother than it had before, and ordered it. The owner, at the counter, said, “You’re the guy who talked to me about the vegan gelato, right?”

She then proceeded to update him about her subsequent experiments with the recipe, and shared that while the product is still not perfect, it’s much improved.

When we tasted it, we had to agree. It was pretty darn good.

Know what? Pretty darn good, plus responsiveness, is enough to make us loyal customers for life. She’s struggling to reach out to people who aren’t being served by other ice cream shops. And because what she’s doing is new and different, it’s taking some tweaking and experimentation. But even if there were a dozen places to get vegan gelato in town (I wish!), we’d still pick the one that was open to suggestions. The fact that someone is actively trying to develop our personal dream product by adapting to our input is so amazing. I couldn’t ask for better treatment.

So what’s the moral of the story?

You don’t have to have the most experience to get loyal clients.

You don’t have to have the most skills.

You don’t have to have the fanciest surroundings.

And you don’t have to be perfect.

But if you actively seek input and suggestions from your clients, and then (here’s the important bit) actually follow through, there’s nobody who’s going to give your clients what they want better than you will.

If you’re new to the field, that’s your secret weapon.

Just listen. Then do.

It costs you nothing but your ego, which is why it’s astounding how few businesses take advantage of it. What have you got to lose?

Related Posts: