Your mama taught you the magic words: “Please,” “Thank You,” and “You’re Welcome.” Now that you are a grown-up businessperson, these words are still useful, if not exactly magic.
Most of us remember to say Thank You to a customer when our transaction is complete, and yes, that is very nice. However, it is also very common, to the point where it is almost a throw-away phrase, like “How ya doin’?” Expressing your gratitude to your customers should be more than just a knee-jerk catch phrase that follows the cha-ching of your cash register.
The best way to show appreciation to your customers is to do things that make your customers feel good. This will take on a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, based on the nature of your business and the types of customers you have. Real gratitude is shown when you give your customer something of value that they were not expecting, that goes above and beyond what they contacted you for in the first place. But please, not the pens or baseball caps with your logo on them! Most folks have plenty of writing utensils and headwear, so the “value” of these types of promotional gifts is really the free advertising YOU get, if/when the customer uses these gifts in public.
Providing an outstanding Customer Experience is the key to expressing thanks to your customers. A clean, comfortable business environment. A friendly greeting and an offer to help, if needed. A few well-chosen words of personal interaction – not about the weather, but about something the customer has, or says, or wants to purchase. Connecting, even briefly, is a way of letting the customer know that you appreciate their taking the time to connect with your business. But make the effort to be sincere. Complimenting someone on the white tee shirt they are wearing may come off as a bit contrived.
Granted, this is all Service 101. Yet so many businesses fail at this fundamental aspect of commerce. But I guarantee you, the customer who feels appreciated is a customer who will return to you, and will bring her friends / colleagues. This is how your business grows best.
So think about your mom. Think about how she’d want you to treat those nice customers. Then do it! And not just around the holidays; do it every day, with every customer. Customers have choices. Show the ones who have chosen you some kindness and gratitude, and watch how much they will come to appreciate you!
– Chuck Dennis