I recently was moving some files around in my office and came across a list that I created several years ago titled, 10 Things I can Do to Add Value to my Clients. Not only was it neat to go back and look at the list, but it also served as a great reminder that we must never take our customers, time, attention, and business for granted.
The list will serve as a timely reminder as we celebrate Thanksgiving this week. Here are Five Ways to Appreciate Your Best Customers.
#1: Hold thank you events. When you show appreciation and sponsor or host an event, it’s a great way to not only meet with your best customers, but also catch up on how they’re doing. I’ve always been amazed that more people don’t employ this strategy. The amount of goodwill, fun, and positive word-of-mouth far outweigh the costs to host the event.
#2: Send birthday cards. This is old school marketing 101 that so few businesses employ. When someone gets an unexpected card in the mail it leaves a huge impression. In the age of email, texts and Facebook, the temptation is to choose the easiest path. Good old-fashioned birthday cards still go a long way to building goodwill.
#3: Thank customers for their referrals. Referrals are powerful. I’m an advocate that you should not only track where referrals come from, but more importantly thank the person who sent them to you. I love hand-written thank you notes along with a small gift such as a box of cookies, a book, or gift certificate. In addition, a phone call is still looked upon highly in the age of texts and 9-second attention spans.
#4: Send them business. Besides doing business if possible with your best customers, you should always be seeking ways to help them grow. By getting to know who they work with, you can often think of and refer people in your circle of influence to them. I do this a lot. It not only shows that I appreciate them, but that I believe and trust them enough to send people I know their direction.
#5: Offer them new products and promotions first. People love the feeling of being exclusive and special. Anytime I roll out a new service, talk, event, or book I bring it to my best clients first. In addition, I include special promotions just for them as a thank you for their ongoing patronage and referrals. It’s amazing to me how many businesses create special promotions for new customers only and then completely skip over their current ones. This to me is very short-sided thinking and foolish on so many fronts.
I hope this short, yet effective list, has inspired you to make appreciating your customers a priority now and into the future~!