Ending a customer transaction with “thank you” may be the gold standard, but it can also feel so yesterday in the world of lightning quick social media. What can a company do to build its base of promoters? We offer this list of delightful, memorable and quirky ways to show gratitude to your customers and keep them coming back to you.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. G.K. Chesterton
- Write an Old Fashioned Thank You Note. Can you remember the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? Most likely, your customer can’t either. Make it short, personal and specific. Your customer will be delighted to receive real mail! You can find tips on how to write them at EmilyPost.com
- Educate Your Customer. Is your business a coffee shop? Then offer tasting seminars and discuss fair trade initiatives. They will come away feeling more knowledgeable than the Jones’s next door, plus they will have more reason to patronize your store.
- Wow Just One Customer. Toss your everyday, rational customer service standards out the window and wow just one customer. A delightful, unexpected, over-the-top customer experience is likely to be tweeted and retweeted. Read this example of extreme customer service delivered by Ace Hardware in Uintah Gardens, Colorado Springs.
- Highlight Customers. Feature a customer on your bulletin board, website or Facebook page. This will make them feel valued and more inclined to spread the word about your business.
- Honor an Accomplishment or Achievement. Recognize a promotion, major anniversary or a recent addition to the family. This will make them feel like they are part of the family.
- Make Them Laugh. Add some humor to your customer service. Create a personalized, funny thank you gift. Do some photo editing, paste their profile over their favorite movie star, and email it with a note of thanks. As a web design company we have a wide variety of clients, from Engineers to small boutique owners, no mater what industry they are in, everyone enjoys a good laugh.
- Value Their Feedback. When you implement a customer suggestion, let them know. Moreover, let the conversation become additional opportunity for face-to-face feedback. Be open to complaints as well as praise. I recently had a client refer me to a website that helps create color combinations called Color Lovers, we have so much fun creating color combinations and comparing them with each other, and now I this tool with many of my new clients as well.
- Refer Clients to Them. We all want promoters to send referrals to us. Reciprocity is contagious. Advocate for their business in the course of a day and send them some customers. In addition, create a links sections on your own website or feature them on your Facebook page.
- Send Greeting Cards for Unexpected Holidays. Celebrate Groundhog’s Day and your celebratory greetings will stand out from the mass of winter holiday cards.
- Give Your Customer a Surprise Upgrade. A spontaneous, free upgrade will show thanks in a powerful way. You can draw names from a hat or spin the roulette wheel. Airlines mastered this method through frequent flyer programs, and it continues to be a cost-effect way to delight your customers.
Most of all, we recommend that you have fun with creating promoters and brand advocates by using these ideas. A lighthearted approach can be the most effective customer service, and it doesn’t cost a cent!