Tuesday, October 09, 2012

7 ways to show your customers you appreciate them

My girls recently added some new fish to their fish tank. Over time we’ve lost these little guys one by one, and we were down to a single, lonely tetra. He was doing ok, but we knew he’d be happier with a couple of buddies.

It’s really not too interesting to watch a solitary fish dart around the tank—but it’s very cool to see them swim together as a unit. So as much as I wanted to add to the population earlier in the game, I reminded myself that these were my girls’ fish. And since they really wanted to enhance the tank, too, I thought about how we could turn the situation into a learning opportunity.

A positive reinforcement tactic came to mind. The girls had been having trouble settling down at bedtime (they share a room), so we created a sticker chart. For every night I didn’t have to come in and tell them to be quiet, stop bouncing on their beds, or what-have-you, they earned a sticker. When they filled up a week’s worth of stickers, they would get a few new fish.

The chart worked like a charm. Within a week they earned their fish, and the lone tetra now has friends. Everyone wins!

This situation made me think a bit on a professional level, too. I showed my daughters that I appreciated their efforts by rewarding their behavior, but had I been showing my clients how much I appreciated them as well?

Without clients or customers, we wouldn’t have any work; we couldn’t sell our products or services. So it only makes sense to let them know that they are key in our business, and that we appreciate their choice to work with us.

How can we thank the folks who bring their business to us? There are lots of ways! Here are a few ideas:

1. Give them kudos on your (and their) social media pages.

2. Send a thank you note after finishing a project.  
Be sure to hand-write it—handwritten notes are rare these days, so stand out by doing something different.

3. Take notes on their personal interests.  
What sports teams to they follow? How old are their kids? When is their birthday?

4. Send holiday cards. 
Consider acknowledging odd holidays, too, like: Happy Columbus Day! I’m glad we discovered each other!

5. If you have an office, provide coffee or tea in the waiting area. 
 If not, consider sending a package of chocolates, popcorn, or other treats to enjoy to their home or office.

6. Share resources. 
 If you come a cross an article or other information online or in a print publication that you think would benefit/interest your client, send it their way. This lets them know you are thinking about them even if you aren’t doing business with them at that moment.

7. Continue offering quality, personal service.

There are many other ways to honor the folks who give you their business. Go ahead and get creative! Have fun with the process! They’ll certainly remember you for your efforts.

How do you show your clients that you appreciate them?

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