The Importance of Thank You!
Not just for reading this blog or being an InkSoft customer. But for gutting it out in this crazy industry. It takes a lot to make things work in your shop.
To cross the daily finish line there is one thing that can make a difference every day and that’s a feeling of sincere gratitude. When this is expressed to both your customers and to your employees, magic can happen more often.
Are you on top of this?
It’s easy to keep your head down and churning out production every day and overlook this idea.
To me, it’s crucial to constantly give your appreciation to these two important groups. People want to feel valued. They want to know that they are important. That you care.
Otherwise, it’s too easy these days for employees or customers to simply give their loyalty to another company.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to simply assume that people will stick with you. To that end, here are some ideas you might try when developing ideas for expressing your gratitude.
Start With Thank You
While there are plenty of complex and sometimes expensive ways of saying thank you…nothing beats simply saying it with a smile on your face. How often are you doing that?
I always loved shaking hands and high fiving employees at the end of a shift or difficult week. It is important to make that connection and let them know that you are thinking of them.
The same goes for customers. Is the only time you call them is when you are trying to drum up business? What about after an order has been delivered, or maybe some other random time to just chat? People don’t do business with enemies. The more human and friendly your relationship is with your customers, the better.
Keep it real.
How many hand-written Thank You note is your company routinely sending?
Your mother was right. Send them a card. For online store orders, put something in the box before you close it up. Just do something!
Using technology and emails to express thanks are ok, but they really seem like the bare minimum amount of effort you can make these days. Instead, get some branded notecards for your business and start sending notes of appreciation.
If you want to make this part of your process, you need to make it easy for your staff to do it. Supply the cards, envelopes, stamps and even some suggested three or four sentence messages they can use.
Personalized attention can be part of your overall customer experience strategy.
Why is this important? Bottom-line value, of course. 86% of shoppers in the United States say they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
The same holds true with your staff. When you take a few minutes to write a heartfelt card and express your gratitude or job well-done thought, your employee has a tangible notion of your feelings about them. This is the thing that they talk about over dinner with their family, or hang on their refrigerator.
Personal notes strengthen relationships.
Use Their Name
What’s the most fantastic word a person can hear?
How are you customizing your outward bound content? Be sure you are personalizing it with their name as often as you can. But you can go beyond that too.
Think about sending them a birthday card every year, wishing them well, but also thanking them for their continued business. Holidays cards and newsletters also offer the opportunity to include their name in your marketing too.
Reinforce your relationship by using their name as often as you can.
Throw A Thank You Party
Gratitude can be expressed in fun events too. Think about the mileage you might get with a thank you party for your customers!
Invite your neighbors, friends, and employee families. Create a special t-shirt design and make it available on your online store for free. Give it a funky theme to stand out.
You could have everyone print their own shirt as an activity.
For customers that can’t attend, make sure they feel included by providing them with some fun branded items and maybe a free bonus on their next order.
Of course, this gives you the perfect opportunity to record on video your loyal customers telling the world how awesome you are. These testimonials can go a long way to become the social proof other potential customers might need to give you their business.
Gratitude Can’t Be A Secret
One last thing. I want you to remember that gratitude can’t be a secret.
If you feel tremendous appreciation for your customers, but don’t continually express it, they will never know how you feel. It has to come out.
Do it in a meaningful way if you can, but ultimately just a simple “Thank You” that is heartfelt goes a long way.
So to end this article I just want to say:
“None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone’s help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you.” – Harvey Mackay
“Take time to be king and to say “Thank You”. – Zig Ziglar
“Say thank you. Say it often and with meaning.” – Marne Levine