With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s always a great time to find ways to be more thankful. Of course, we should be as thankful as we can be all year round, but there’s no better time than now to get better.
And this year, I think it’s a great time to focus on how we can be more thankful for and to the people who allow us our livelihood: our customers.
Here are 6 ways that I’ve had success with in expressing gratitude to customers for you to try out.
6 Great Ways To Be Grateful To Your Customers
1. Send them a thank you card.
My family is really, really good about sending thank you cards. My sister especially sends thank you cards for everything! Birthday and Christmas presents we send her and her kids, or an outing that we had, or even after just a call… seriously she sends thank you cards all the time!
And while saying it like that makes it sound like it’s too much, in reality each card that we get from her or her kids is treasured because it makes us feel amazing and special.
My wife and I, on the other hand, are terrible about sending cards, but that’s just a lesson in ‘what not to do.’
Really, sending those thank you cards is such a trivial thing with very minimal cost associated, but if you really take the time to make it happen, you can make your customers feel special.
One company that’s doing this right is Simple. Not just with thank you cards, but even when issuing new debit cards to customers, they will routinely send those out with personalized cards. Hand-written and sometimes even with a personal drawing for that customer.
Now, the customer base for Simple is generally young, so things like personal drawings might not be right for a roofing contractor’s customers, or a plumber’s clientele, but you can still get creative and you can always be personal.
Take the data you have in your CRM and make out a card specifically for that person. Remind them of what you did for them and how much you enjoyed working with them.
Just a few kind and considerate words in an unsuspected card can go a very long way.
2. Send them a gift
Now, if you want to take the extra step, send them something more than just a Hallmark card. Again, in everything you do, be sure you are personal.
I don’t mean to sound creepy, but when you’re giving someone an estimate or consultation either at their house or at your office, take that time to get to know them. Ask about their families, treat them like humans, not just money bags. Be aware of your surroundings at their house, compliment them on things you notice, and take notes.
Maybe you find that they have a wine cabinet that could use one more bottle. Maybe they love cats and a little feline Christmas tree decoration is on Santa’s list. Maybe they don’t celebrate Christmas and you can get them something that would be more personal to them. If not personal, send them something useful for them.
What I’m trying to say is you need to get to know them and then send them a gift that will knock their socks off. Not because its expensive, but because it’s something that they love but would never imagine a roofing contractor gifting them. Go the extra mile.
3. Know them by name and remember them.
Heck, let’s just get this point out here right now while we’re talking about it. One of the best ways to ‘thank’ your customer is by treating them like people instead of numbers on a spreadsheet.
This is one of the great gifts of having a CRM. The ability to treat your customers as humans will allow you to be a different kind of product or service provider.
No longer will you big “Super Evil Megacorp”. Instead, you’ll be known as “Old Man Peabody from the corner store”, the one you’ve been going to all your life because you have a personal relationship with the owner. He knows your name, your kids’ names, your dog’s name, and everything in between.
Use your CRM (or get one if you don’t have one by now, by golly!) and track as much information as possible to know your customers well. And then, when they call up or when you have an appointment with them, use that CRM to help remind you about all those things you tracked. Ask them about their kids, or if their pet was sick before ask them how they’re doing now.
Make them feel special and remembered, and then your customers will absolutely remember you.
4. Give them a shout-out.
Everyone loves getting attention or recognition, and a lot of that is because most of the world doesn’t get any. The Kardashians may always be in the spotlight, but Giselda Ramirez from 1313 Chickweed Ln. has never won a ribbon or prize for anything in her life. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to, but the law of numbers just sometimes puts her out of the probability circle.
So when it comes to our customers, we should remember that many of them aren’t famous or don’t have their picture framed on a wall. The power to make someone feel special and honored are kinds of things that are within our power to grant, so let’s make an effort to shout out to our customers and let them know we think they’re swell!
You could take a picture of them and put in on your office wall of customers, then send them a picture of the wall so they know where they hang. Or shout out to them on your website or blog and let them know how thankful you are that they chose you and allowed you into their home. Ask them for a testimonial and give them a front-row seat on your website’s home page for them to see the next time they show up.
Of course, we need to be courteous of privacy, so it’s always best to get permission for anything before posting online, on your office wall, etc. Go an extra step and actually send them a letter with the idea you have and ask them if it’s okay to move forward on this.
If they’d prefer not, don’t press it and find some way else to say thanks. Heck, in most cases even just asking about this kind of thing, even if they don’t want to do it, will still make them feel like a million bucks because you thought about them when no one else did.
5. Give them a discount.
This one is ESPECIALLY true for repeat customers or ones that provide you with referrals, but that doesn’t mean it’s exclusive to them.
If you’re really having a great experience with someone and they’ve helped you the sales process without too much issue, why not return the favor by way of a discount that they weren’t expecting?
It’s probably best to apply the discount at the end of the payment cycle, but you can lay it on them however you’d like. But try to refrain from “waving the contract fee” or things like that, as they have become commonplace and no longer carry the same emotional weight as they once did.
Sure, it’s not always necessary and it’s not always applicable (plus, you do lose something from your bottom line) but it’s a great way to express gratitude for them accepting your service.
6. Send them a gift card or some cash back
I know this is radical, and you might think I’m trying to turn you into a rewards credit card, but let’s just throw this idea out there. How about instead of giving a discount you actually provide them with the same value of that discount you could have given them from that earlier point, but you instead, after all is said and done, send them a big old wad of cash that they can use to spend.
It can be in the form of a gift card, a check, or some cash with a note about why you’re sending it and thanking them for their business and relationship. Imagine them, enjoying a brand new roof, everything said and done, and then they get a few large bills in the mail out of nowhere.
Now THAT will make sure they feel thanked and will have a huge impact on how they remember you and the experience they had with you.
Your customers are your bread and butter, and while you might be doing a great job with treating them right, there’s always room to express your gratitude for them with extra, unexpected gestures.
Go ahead and give these a try this year. I’m sure you’ll see results as you do better.
If you have other ideas on how to express gratitude to your customers, please share in the comments below!