I recently began a gratitude diary as a way of re-focusing my attention from our rather upside-down world to the good things around me. I am feeling lighter of spirit and I seem to be better able to take bad news in my stride… I’m happier because I am finding things to be happy about. Happiness and gratitude are deeply connected, so it makes sense that if we are seeking to make our customers happy, we should be showing our gratitude for their business and support.
Here are 5 things you can do to show your appreciation and make your customers feel special.
- Send a handwritten cards
Digital is distancing. Receiving a meaningful note that someone has taken the time to think about and write is an incredibly powerful way of saying ‘thank you!’ If it’s well written and on pretty paper – even better because the chances are that it will be kept as a physical reminder of you and your company.
- Give personalised gifts
The key word here is personal. Avoid the standard holiday gifting to everyone and rather send a gift that means something to that person. Has your customer just bought a new home or had a baby, or are they excited to be going on holiday – maybe they’ve just taken up golf… whatever it is, use this information to show that you listened and remembered and send a gift (with a handwritten card) appropriate to that person.
Naturally, this tends to work better if you have a small customer base or a few key customers.
Our customers are giving us bits of information about how they feel about our products or services all the time. We need to be listening and responding to show that we care.
For example, a comment about queues – ask yourself is this a pain point and can you do something about it? The question ‘do you have X?’ – Flip it to ‘why don’t you?’ (Sell the batteries that go with the product – it makes their lives easier and you keep the customer in your store.)
Listening includes being aware of body language, eye rolls, finger tapping, or frowns are clear indicators that something you are doing is irritating your customer. Smiles and nods are also feedback – make sure you keep doing it!
- Be helpful
Share useful tips and give away how-to guides relevant to your industry. People remember the people who helped them, and this is an important part of relationship building.
Keep it fun and informative!
- Celebrate your customers
Perhaps a customer has received the “Best Bakery” nomination, or they have just moved to bigger, better premises. Maybe they have started a fun social media campaign – support it and give them a shout out.
Be genuine and show that you are excited for them.
Your thoughtfulness and effort will make your customers feel appreciated… and your business will thank you too!
Tell us how you make your customers feel appreciated in the comments below...
By Janet Askew