“What do you say?”
Every parent I know has used this phrase to prompt their child to “remember their manners” and say, “Thank you.”
You’ve probably uttered it yourself.
The act of expressing gratitude is universally practiced when it applies to kids receiving birthday presents at a party or even a cookie from Grandma. It’s a social gesture we take for granted in our personal lives …
But business is another story.
NOT all businesses have official Thank You campaigns to show gratitude and thank clients and customers. Many more do now than used to, but it’s still not common practice with everyone.
As a consumer … as a customer and client … I think this is a shame.
As a competitive businessperson, on the other hand, I’m OK with not all my competitors getting onboard the gratitude wagon. Because it’s yet another way that I can differentiate myself from them and come out on top.
And you can, too.
3 Ways to Say, “Thank you!”
1. Send a Thank You Card
It may be an old-fashioned idea, but a thank you card still is an effective way to express your gratitude. People like getting cards in the mail.
Here are a few options when it comes to thank you cards:
- You can purchase cards with a Thank You message preprinted on them and simply sign your name.
- You can write your own personalized message inside a blank note card.
- You can print custom cards with a preprinted message and your own artwork, and still hand write a personal message.
- You can use an application like Send Out Cards to send custom, personalized cards that are both cost-effective and time/effort effective.
2. Give a Gift
Who doesn’t like receiving a gift? Right? Giving a thank you gift is a step up from the thank you card, and it carries a lot of gratitude mojo.
Some ideas for corporate gifts include:
- Basket of edible goodies
- Gift card (Starbucks or a local restaurant are great options)
- Fun or useful promotional items with your logo and/or message on them (caps, mugs, calendars, stress balls, note pads, pens, etc.)
- Gas card
3. Host an Event
A customer appreciation event may be the most costly, but you’re also likely to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Some event ideas are:
- Open House at your office or place of business
- Appreciation Party held at a restaurant or other public venue
- Family-Friendly Carnival or Picnic
- Neighborhood/Community Carnival
Because an event is going to be a higher investment than a thank you card or gift, you may consider co-hosting an event with a complementary business or two. Look for businesses that may serve the same customer as you, but who aren’t your competition …
For example, a house cleaning company could co-host an event with a pest control service and a plumber. They all serve the same customer, but they don’t compete with one another.
In general, appreciation events are rare even among the businesses that have official systems in place to thank their customers. But there are some industries — the wine industry, for example — where appreciation events are fairly common. If they’re common in your industry, you’ll just need to be creative to make your event stand out.
Thank You’s Improve Customer Retention
Studies have shown that the majority of customers who stop doing business with you do so because they think you don’t care.
Expressing gratitude with a card, gift, or event sends your customers and clients the message that you DO care about them. This, in turn, builds a stronger relationship between you and them.
So remember your manners and say, “Thank you.” Implement a gratitude campaign. Create a system so that thank you’s become standard practice in your business.
It’s good manners. It’s a good practice …
It’s good business.
THANK YOU for reading this article!
Your turn … Do you have a unique method of thanking your customers and clients that you’d like to share? Tell your fellow readers and me about it in the comments below!