We’ve been talking a lot about Appreciation lately, but this time we’re focusing on customers instead of employees. This is just as vital to the success of your business.
Did you know that almost 70% of the customers that you lose leave because they feel unappreciated? Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix.
It may help to think of it this way:
When your customers decide to do business with you, it is a gift. So your task is to continuously thank them for that gift. You don’t want to seem like you take that gift for granted. The money they spend with you enables you to do everything you do. Imagine what it would be like without them. When you do this, it is easy to think of ways to openly and honestly thank them for choosing you.
There are dozens upon dozens of ways to show your appreciation. Think about things that you like and you can begin a list of ways that you can please your customers – and show them that you appreciate them in the process.
Appreciation can be as simple as a verbal thank you, or a handwritten note slipped into their coat pocket or mailed to their home.
You can also:
- Recognize special occasions such as birthdays with hand written cards, small gift cards or small personalized gifts.
- Be on the lookout for unique opportunities and don’t hesitate – or let “process” get in the way of acting on them in a personal way.
- Pay attention (and even take notes) so that you can take a special interest in what is going on in customers’ lives. They may have an ailing parent that you can ask about or a new business that you can express interest in.
- Remember that no detail is too small to be noticed by your customer.
- Send personal, hand-written notes that detail the positive impact their continued loyalty has had on your business. Make it personal and specific to your experience with them.
- Keep them in the loop so that they feel engaged in your business.
- Pick up the phone and just say thank you and ask how else you can satisfy their needs. This makes your families feel like their ideas are important can go a long way.
- Share your own excitement with them so that they feel a personal connection with you.
- Customer appreciation “initiatives” don’t have to be expensive or elaborate but they do need to be consistent and genuine. Once you’re in the habit, this process will come naturally!
There are a few other ideas that require a bit more planning:
- Create categories (gold, platinum, silver, copper) tied to specific benefits for customers based on number of children enrolled, amounts spent or referrals they’ve made for your facility. The benefits should be rewards and not appear to be merely inducements to spend more money.
- Provide long-time customers with a surprise, one-time special service or product for free or at a reduced rate. The surprise element makes this special.
- Create an honor roll on your site or on Twitter thanking and recognizing clients and customers that have helped you get to where you are today.
- Create your own wall of fame with photographs of your most loyal customers.
What is most important is that you fit your expressions of appreciation to your customers. Every method may not work for each one. One of the keys to your success is showing that you put thought into your relationship with them and it is important to you.
(Photo Credit: © All rights reserved by KisforCalligraphy)