Behind The Scenes of a Client Appreciation Project.

While working on a recent client appreciation project, I realized once again how valuable it is to have someone handling the details.

Client AppreciationHere is the client appreciation project from my client’s perspective:

The client submits concept, content, names and addresses, and sends content to graphic designer. She approves the ribbon design, jar type and candy. When she receives the content back from her graphic designer, she sends it to me for printing. She receives a photo of the finished project and gives final approval. She hears from recipients about what a cool, innovative gift it is and stays top of mind.

Here is the client appreciation project from my perspective:

The client submits content, names and addresses. I research custom ribbon, jars and candy and send choices to her. Once approved, I order custom ribbon, jars, and candy.

The ribbon arrives. A couple days later, the jars and candy arrive. Some of the jars are the wrong size. I contact supplier to send a replacement. After printing a return label, I drop it off to be sent back. The replacement jars arrive a couple days later. Three out of 8 are broken. I contact customer service again. They want the broken glass jars returned. I attempt to combine all the broken glass into one box. A little while later I feel a tiny piece of glass in my foot. (Don’t worry, I easily pulled it out and everything was ok.) The next day UPS comes and picks up the box of broken glass. After a few more days, the final shipment of jars arrives – unbroken.

Once I receive the content from the graphic designer, I submit it to the printer then go in to discuss the project, make sure the right paper is chosen and all the details are confirmed. A couple days later I pick up the project from the printer. I sort and fold the print project.

After filling the jars with candy and cards, I tie each one with custom ribbon. I print labels for the jars that are ready to go out and hand write a note for each one.

The final step: shipping

The office supply store is out of the box size I need for shipping the client appreciation gifts, but tells me another store 15 minutes away has them. After traveling to the second store, I find that they are also out of the size I needed and purchase an alternate size instead. I go to the shipping store and purchase a different size there. They don’t have enough of that size, so I go to a second shipping store to purchase the remaining shipping boxes.

The jars are then carefully packed so the recipients don’t receive broken glass. When I bring the boxes, with shipping information to be shipped, they question one of the addresses. I look it up online to show how it should appear. They ask to borrow my phone so they can see how it looks. After all the packages are processed, I leave to return boxes that were the wrong size. When I arrive at the office supply store, I realize I don’t have my phone. After returning the boxes, I go back to the shipping store where the clerk doesn’t even realize that she still has my phone. Whew!

I invoice the client and she hears back from the recipients that they loved the gifts.

The Value of Outsourcing

As a business owner, your time is valuable. So are your clients. It is important to appreciate them, but if you do all the tasks involved in that, it is taking you away from billable hours. Hiring help allows you to focus on the good work you do without forgetting client appreciation.

Do you handle your own client appreciation projects? Why or why not? Have you ever had a series of problems as you tried to get a project done like this one? Share in the comments.



  1. As owner of Gunnar Electric, Inc I felt it was important to hand write Thank You cards for services to our residential customers. This was fine for awhile and I was able to keep up. UNTIL the one of my office staff moved on, we decided that we could spread her job around (most went back to me) AND the economy changed so we were doing many more residential jobs. I got so far behind that I was bringing work home, writing thank you cards while at soccer games, volley ball games etc. Wow!
    I tried Send Out Cards but that was difficult for one time events too.

    • Lois,
      Good for you for knowing the value of writing thank you notes to your customers. It certainly can be a big job and hard to keep up with when you have so many other things on your plate.

Share Your Thoughts