My wife and I own a small jewelry design studio.
We have a client who has been with us for about 10 years. I haven't heard from her for about 6 months when it usually has been many times a year. She and her husband have recently retired. I believe that is why the visits have lessened due to more limited income, but I am not entirely sure. I would like to give a call on just a friendly, concerned note, but not sure how to do this without making her feel bad or like I'm calling to continue business. We have had such a good relationship that I feel bad not calling. What is the etiquette and content of the call in this situation?
This is a very nice thought and it is of course fine to call, as a friend, not as a vendor. You can simply say you have been thinking about her and hoping they are enjoying their retirement, ask her about it, and then sign off never mentioning her as a customer at all. It is always difficult when someone just disappears after a long relationship without having some sort of contact or closure. If she says something about your business relationship or apologizes, you could reassure her that that is not why you are calling at all, that you are calling simply because you have missed her, have always enjoyed her company, and just wanted to check in.