Do you thank your customers? Saying thank you to someone who helps to keep you in business seems like Business 101, but it is surprising to me how often I do not hear the words, “Thank you.”
As a mystery shopper, one of the questions I frequently answer for businesses is whether or not their employees thanked me when I made a purchase. How often does a salesperson or cashier say, “Here you go,” “Have a good one,” or something other than a simple, “Thank you”? This common courtesy has now become uncommon.
Any time a customer interacts with your business, they should be thanked. Here are some ways you can show your customers you appreciate them.
Thank everyone who calls. A customer’s first encounter with your business may be by telephone. Give them a positive experience by providing the information they need and thanking them for the inquiry. When customers call to place an order or make an appointment, they deserve a big thank you for their business.
Thank customers in person. When someone comes to your business, whether or not they make a purchase, thank them for coming. Information seekers and “tire kickers” will be more likely to return and make a purchase if they were treated warmly on their first visit.
Send thank you notes. Welcome new customers by sending handwritten notes thanking them for their business. Handwritten notes are rare in these days of email and mass-produced cards. They will make the recipients feel special. And do not forget to show appreciation to long-term customers. Get in the habit of sending thank you notes to at least a few customers every week.
Say thank you for referrals. I am always delighted to receive a card letting me know that one of the people I referred has become a customer. Sometimes, the thank you is accompanied by a small gift, such as a coffee mug. The gift is nice (and keeps the name of the business in front of me) but the thank you alone makes it likely that I will remember that business and refer more customers to them.
Customers appreciate gifts, too. Surprise them with a free product or upgrade, just for being a customer. Make it appear spontaneous and random, even if the timing and value of the gift are based on how long the customer has been with you or the value of that customer to your business.
Happy employees provide better service, so don’t forget to thank your employees. Show appreciation for what they do to serve customers, and they will catch the gratitude attitude.. Listen to customer interactions with your staff, and praise employees who do a good job. When you catch an employee doing something special for a customer, thank them immediately.
Customers still want to be thanked. Get in the habit of saying thank you to customers, in both word and deed, and educate your employees about this simple way of making more sales and increasing customer satisfaction.