Should I remember a client birthday?

Should you remember a client's birthday?I think the answer is yes, you should remember a client birthday.

Why? Well, it would really be a short blog article if the answer was no. More importantly, in the age of electronic communications, a hand written birthday card posted to them is likely to get noticed.

As humans we’re social creatures. It’s nice to be personally acknowledged and remembered even by those who we have professional relationships and friendships with. And let’s face it – no one has ever heard anyone of any age complain about being remembered.

Like all client touch points, how effective your birthday wishes are, comes down to how well and with what intention you deliver them.

So here are some ideas to help you make sure it has a meaningful impact.

  • Never tell the client you’re going to remember their birthday. That’s not the reason they are coming to see you. It should be an unexpected value add – not a part of the core value proposition they know about and pay for.
  • If it’s one of your best clients, take the time to personally hand write a card. Add a short message about something that’s important to them. For example, ‘I hope you get to spend the day playing golf and spending time with your family’.
  • If it’s one of your many clients, then why not position a hand written card or e-card from your entire team. For example, ‘From all of us at <Advice Business>, we wish you many happy returns’.
  • Remembering a client’s birthday doesn’t mean you have to send flowers or wine, however, if it’s a significant client and a milestone birthday, then you might.
  • Be careful of mentioning age in your birthday message, even with humour. Many people, both women and men, are uncomfortable about seeing or hearing the number from others.
  • Consider creating some blank cards – blank because you might use them for other events too – weddings, anniversaries and other milestone events.
  • NEVER use a birthday card to talk about your business or try and sell them something. Their birthday is about them – no you!

It’s a fact that the older we all get, the fewer birthday cards we receive. So with this in mind and the above ideas, remembering a client’s birthday is a great opportunity to personally connect with them and stand out from the crowd.

I am the first to admit, I am terrible at remembering dates. Unless it’s in my electronic calendar, it’s likely to be forgotten. Thankfully, I have family and friends who remind me of the key dates I need to remember. So if you’re like me, get a system in place with your Assistant or Practice Manager.

Now there are some who will read this who disagree, for reasons that might include:

  • Certain cultures and religions don’t celebrate birthdays.
  • I think it’s ‘tacky and cheap’.
  • I don’t have time.

If any of these sound like you, then don’t do it. If you’re not genuinely committed to it, the client will see it.

photo credit: Kid’s Birthday Parties via photopin cc

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One thought on “Should I remember a client birthday?

  1. Jeff Dentzer says:

    Good article! I guess from my viewpoint, the answer isn’t yes or no, but “it depends”. If you have an established relationship with a client over a period of time, then by all means acknowledge their special day. If you are just building that relationship, then hold off until you have built one.

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