Really this tip is for any business. Large. Small. Local. National. International. It doesn’t matter.
And, really does it need to be said? Apparently, it does.
In this age of searching for information and business services on the internet people are having less human-to-human interaction. With less face-to-face interaction we appear to be losing some of our social skills–even with the increase of Social Media.
We may be connecting via Social Media, but we sometimes forget the simple things that Mom taught us, and they taught in school. Remember to say Thank You!
When someone comes to your store, do you ignore them or do you thank them for coming in? People like to be noticed and appreciated. If you thank them for coming in they are more apt to return.
When that person leaves your business, do you thank them for coming in–even if they did not make a purchase? Again, people like to be noticed and appreciated, they want to feel welcome. By thanking them you are acknowledging that they were there and they are (again) more apt to return, even if they did not find anything to buy this time. And if it turns out that they do not require your services (maybe your inventory doesn’t match their style) they are still apt to speak highly of you in the future.
A simple Thank You can go a long way.
It is true for a service business as well. We may not have people walking in our doors because we go to them, but that doesn’t negate the benefits of a simple Thank You. There are opportunities for thanking people for calling to get an estimate, for making an appointment, and of course when we are providing the service.
The Thank You can occur at the time or later, or both. As long as you are sincere, it is hard to overdo a thank you.
Even though they are paying you for your service or product for most businesses there is always competition. You can help set yourself apart with your customer service and your attitude, including saying Thank You.
And for businesses that depend on referrals, thank yous are essential. One chiropractor I know had a sign on the wall thanking patients for their referrals, listing the referring patient by name. A real estate agent sends out Starbucks gift cards as a thank you for a referral. Discounts on services are also a common way to thank current customers for sending referrals. Diners who regularly refer patrons may have dessert comped at their favorite restaurant.
Be creative about how you can thank your customers or patients in a way that is meaningful to them. Not everyone will want the same gesture, so you might have a couple of different options that you plan for.
Getting to know your customers and building that relationship is good for business!
The better you know your customers the better you will be able to provide a thank you that will be meaningful for the recipient. And if you express your thanks in a way that is meaningful to them, they are going to talk about it and refer you even more. If you thank them in a way that doesn’t move them they probably won’t go out of their way to refer you, but they will at least feel some sense of being appreciated. On the other hand (maybe this is a 3rd hand) if you neglect to thank them for their time, their purchase, their interest you may not only lose a referral, you might lose a customer to another business who does make them feel appreciated.
Thanks for reading this post–I appreciate your interest and your business. And I would love to hear ideas you have for expressing your thanks to your customers or patients!