In a recent Plumb Marketing article, we expressed the importance of a unique call to action to separate your business from others and in turn attract more business. We would pose a simple question to you and your business however, that is even more important to consider. What do you do after you attract that client? How do you continue to earn their business and trust?
John Brubaker, an entrepreneur.com contributor, discusses the importance of being a gracious company. When companies show their thanks to their clients, they ensure repeat and most importantly, loyal customers. Moreover, those customers will tell their friends about your amazing, gracious company and will start to drum up business for you without every buying a single advertisement, sending out a direct mail piece, or even coming up with the best marketing campaign the world has ever seen. This type of marketing – word of mouth marketing – is the best form of FREE marketing that gives your company a “competitive advantage.” (Brubarker 2016)
“According to SCORE, 70 percent of all buying decisions are based on how customers feel they are being treated. Furthermore, 82 percent of business owners believe loyal customers are the key to their growth and are worth up to 10 times their first purchase.” (Brubarker, 2016)
So how do you thank your clients for their business?
- Gratitude starts with your attitude: New customers love smiling faces, helpful and friendly staff, and five-star customer service. Your product or service may be the best thing since iPhones and virtual reality glasses, but it will not mean anything if your clients feel neglected or unloved right when they walk through the door. Train yourself and staff to be welcoming and courteous to new and returning clients.
- Show them love right away: One of our favorite gifts at Plumb are our welcome kits. These kits include information about our products and services along with special offers to new customers, and a small gift card to say “thank you” for considering us. However, if you are a company just starting out, a welcome kit can be a simple folder with your business information, business cards, and a small gift. You can also collaborate with other nearby or like companies to create a packaged kit. Get creative with these, showing appreciation doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money, as the adage goes “It’s the thought that counts!”
- Send random gifts to thank loyal customers: Think about the last time someone sent you a gift just because it was Tuesday and they thought of you. How honored did you feel when you got it? Well, why not do the same for your loyal clients to just say thank you! You can send any gift and don’t be afraid to be creative. Maybe one of your customers likes to golf, why not send them a set of golf balls or a set of golf gloves courtesy of ABC Company. Maybe the team members of your client’s company like cookies, you send a pack of cookies and some marketing collateral to each member just to say thank you for their business.
- Know your clients can go anywhere, but choose to stay because you care: Brubaker gives an excellent example of his continued support of a local Starbucks® on his morning route to the office:
“I go to the same Starbucks every morning on my way to work, and in the process drive past three or four other coffee shops that are closer and more convenient. I choose that Starbucks because they know my name, greet me with a smile, ask how my family is doing and always say thank you.
Knowing I’m an author and voracious reader, the manager gave me a signed copy of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s book as a gift. Not as a Christmas gift, birthday gift or any other holiday observance, ‘just because.’ The way the staff makes me feel by showing their appreciation is a simple but powerful customer acquisition and retention strategy that over the past ten years has resulted in thousands of dollars in business from me.”
Remember clients are not required to give you their business, it is their choice. If potential customers feel neglected from the beginning, you can guarantee a long-term contract of nada. Gratitude starts the moment a new customer even considers doing business with you. “Mary Kay Ash (founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics) attributed much of her success to the fact that she viewed everyone she met as wearing an invisible sign around their neck that said ‘Make me feel important.’” (Burbaker 2016) So, what are you doing to make your customers feel important?
Start spreading a little gratitude to your clients – we have got a few things that will make your customers keep coming back for more.
Burbaker, J. (2016, November 16). Why Gratitude Is Your Key To Customer Growth and Retention. Retrieved December 8, 2016, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/285210 (Entrepreneur)