February 14th, 2012
Donna Gray is an acquaintance of mine. Although we have never talked much, our paths have crossed many times as we have taught at the same conferences and tradeshows, written for the same magazines and so on. I guess this, coupled with a great respect for her work, I always take note of anything I see published in the trade magazines under her name.
In a recent copy of Recognition Review, she offered a list of ways to show appreciation to our customers. I thought they were worth sharing in this abbreviated form.
1. Write a customer appreciation plan.
2. Educate all team members on customer appreciation.
3. Phone clients occasionally to â€œreach out and touchâ€ them.
4. Send a magazine article of interest to the customer.
5. Create open lines of communication.
6. When connecting online, ask good questions.
7. Ask for input and feedback.
8. Show care.
9. Share your knowledge.
10. Get creative. Listen actively.
11. Go the extra mile with every order.
12. Make use of the products we sell (send sample products, promotional items, etc. they might be interested in or enjoy using).
If you look around, you will see this happening all the time. Larger companies even have a staff to do nothing but keep in contact with customers through Social Pages such as Facebook or LinkedIn. We small guys may not be able to go to such lengths but a little effort can go a long way.
We can drop a note from time to time. Give a call to check in or drop an email. If you track your customers on Facebook, it is easy to send them birthday congrats. Just the fact you are reaching out is worth a great deal in todayâ€™s economy and business environment.
Of course, the most important things are always the basics of:
1. Offer a quality product
2. Do it right the first time
3. Deliver it on time (and if something goes wrong fix the problem immediately)
Word of mouth will be your reward, those clients that appreciate you will communicate what they like and the ball will roll on, picking up steam that will herald your success!