5. Build your community impact. Consider how you can create and encourage a community, based around your business. Hosting events or supporting a charity is a great way to be involved in a good cause while inviting your community of customers into the event as a participant or as an attendee.
I know financial planners and lawyers who regularly host informational events about various topics that are enlightening for their clients and help keep them connected to the firm. By creating additional ways to see your customers throughout the year, you are creating relationships that will serve your business far longer than sales alone.
6. Remember your best customers. The best way to wow your customers is to remember them. Create a database of your valued regulars that states their personal preferences (food, drink, sports teams), the names of their family members, their birthdays, and their spending history. Then, use this list! Ask about your client's daughter by name; send a birthday card to your client with a warm greeting; send an email when their team wins the series; or give them a ring when you have a new product available that they might enjoy.
When you remember your best customers, you are treating them like valued people in your life. When you remember your client, you are ensuring you — and your business — will be remembered by her as well. When people feel considered, they will feel cared for, and they will associate these good feelings with you and your business all year long.
If you can start the ball rolling now with these enhancements, you will have created a habit of excellence that will last through the rest of the year. The result? A business model you can be proud of.
Commentary by Kate Edwards, owner of service consultancy Kate Edwards, Consulting, has more than 30 years of service experience, working with such companies as il Buco, Nutrisystem, Le Cirque, What If Innovation and The Rainbow Room. Edwards just completed her first book, "Hello! And Every Little Thing That Matters" (Palgrave Macmillan), available in bookstores now. Follow her on Twitter @servicedefined.