Your business doesn’t exist without its customers.
It’s a fact. And, although the pool of potential customers may seem infinitely deep, the act of finding new customers is far more time-consuming and expensive than retaining current customers.
Remember, just as the pool of potential customers is deep, the pool of service providers for them to choose is also vast!
Your business sustains itself by the relationships you build and nurture. Imagine you are one of your customers, and think of it this way:
You’d probably love to be able to buy a birthday gift for every single person you like, but unless you’re incredibly fortunate, you have to pare down the list and give serious thought to which of your friends and family you can afford to give gifts to. You may ask yourself questions such as, “Who are the people that are consistently there for me?” “Who has always given me gifts on my birthday?” Or, “Who do I see the most?” Now imagine you give 5 of your friends heartfelt (and perhaps costly) gifts. Some of them are grateful and recognize the care and effort you put into their gifts. But 1 or 2 of them don’t seem very appreciative. You may not be bothered by this—after all you didn’t give the gifts just for the thanks—but will those 1 or 2 friends get gifts again next year?
In this analogy, the gift-giver is your customer, and you are (hopefully) an appreciative friend.
Your customers don’t have to give you their business. And, more than likely there are a number of other places they can choose to take their business. If they’ve chosen to work with you, then they’ve given that decision much thought. You would be wise to recognize and reward their choice to be your customer—not only immediately following an exchange, but continually.
Here are a few ways to show your customers love:
Ideally, this isn’t reserved for holidays only. Have a steady supply of items you are willing to give to your customers at any time. But, make sure your gifts are branded so that when your customers use them, they think of you!
Don’t sit around waiting for your customers to come back to you. You know your industry, and you know why you provide the services you do. If you stumble across something that makes you think of one of your customers, share it with them! If you have an idea for how you can help them, tell them! Moreover, pay them a visit from time to time!
The best way to say “Thank You” is to write it yourself. Why send an email or mail a generic card when you can take 2 minutes to write a personal note? It makes a difference.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s one of the simplest concepts behind customer appreciation. Treat your customers as you would want to be treated.
Throughout the month of November, we will be expanding on these points and offering real-world examples and ideas for how to incorporate gift giving, needs anticipation, thank you cards, and quality service into your customer appreciation plan. What do you do to show your customers love? Tell us about it!