AMiable Solution #431: Four Things to Thank Customers For
Showing customers, donors, sponsors, members, subscribers, etc. your appreciation for their support isn’t uncommon this time of year. But you don’t have to limit your thankfulness to November, and you don’t have to limit your gratitude to sales.
What else should you express appreciation for?
Support of your causes or community service projects. Most companies take on causes or support local community projects for one of two reasons: they sincerely believe in it, or they’re looking for a good way to find exposure or favor in the public’s eye. While your business will benefit either way, showing your appreciation to those who band with you will not only reinforce the connection between your company and your cause, but it will also help create a stronger connection between you and your customers.
Feedback—good and bad. It’s easy to thank someone for kind words. It’s much harder to graciously and gratefully thank someone for the harsh ones. In either case, what you say and how you say it will go a long way in your relationship with both your current and prospective customers, particularly when that negative feedback is given publicly (hello, social media).
What’s even better than kindly accepting criticism? Using it to improve your processes or services, and giving credit where credit is due. We’re not saying you have to name your revamped product after the customer who criticized it, but it would be nice to acknowledge in your sales copy that it was improved with customer input, and it would be even nicer to offer said customer(s) a sneak peak or free product.
Referrals. Sure, you could—and maybe have—set up a referral system with rewards, but every now and then it wouldn’t hurt to simply say “thank you for believing in us so much that you wanted to share us.” While you’re at it, be sure to follow-up with the referred customers. See how things are going. Find out if your company has lived up to the hype.
Time. Marketers often think about time in small amounts. We read studies that tell us how very few seconds consumers are willing to give to marketing before making a decision to read or not read our promotions. To us, that time is minimal, but to our prospects and customers, it’s time they’re stealing from other activities, other interests, other messages. You’re busting your butt to get their attention, but they’re making sacrifices to give it to you.
How you choose to thank your customers depends on how you regularly communicate with them, the size of your customer base, and your budget. Whatever you decide, make your thanks are sincere, and make them happen more often than once a year.