March is Customer Appreciation Month at PsPrint, and we’ve been researching different ways businesses can express customer appreciation. Many businesses understand the importance of customer appreciation: when customers feel valued, they are loyal. There are a number of great ways to demonstrate customer appreciation, including:
- loyal customer discounts
- greeting cards
- showcase your customers in your newsletter
- freebies, such as restaurant reservations, gift cards and event tickets
- customer fun day
All of these strategies are excellent ways to express customer appreciation, but the single best way to show customers how much you appreciate them is with a personal thank you. Simply picking up the phone and letting your customers know how much you appreciate their business costs nothing more than a few minutes of your time, and that personal touch is the most meaningful way to say “thank you.” Moreover, a thank-you phone call presents the opportunity to gain insight into your customers’ needs as well as ways you can provide an even better product or service. The following details a powerful strategy for saying “thank you” by phone:
1. Make a list
Make a list of your top 10 to 20 questions, and block out time to make the phone calls. Most phone calls will take around five minutes, but some might extend to half an hour or more – and those calls will yield the most insight.
2. Introduce yourself
Tell your customers who you are and what your role is in the company. You might be the owner, manager or account representative. Customers will feel more appreciated when the “thank you” comes from an important person in your company, rather than a telemarketing service.
3. Say “thank you”
Tell your customers “thank you” and let them know how much you appreciate their business. Be specific – you might, for example, mention certain projects you completed for your customers.
4. Ask for improvement ideas
Ask your customers how you can improve your product or service, and if there are any other problems they have your company might be able to solve. Don’t give a sales pitch – instead, listen. The insight your customers give you will prove invaluable.
5. Thank them again
Thank your customers for their time, and let them know that you’re there to help if there’s anything they need. Taking a few hours out of your week to thank your customers is a low-investment strategy that can easily lead to increased business. When customers consider you a partner who can help them achieve their goals and solve their problems, they’ll not only be loyal to your company, they’ll preach about your company to their friends and colleagues. It’s no secret that word of mouth advertising is the most powerful form of marketing, so put your own mouth to work to generate a loyal customer base that helps you grow your business exponentially.