Customer Appreciation #2-The most meaningful way to say “Thank you” to your customers

12 08 2007

This one is really simple but still so profoundly powerful. Everybody on this planet that I have met up to this point they want to feel important and like their life while they are here has meaning. I sure as heck know I do and I have pretty good idea that you do to. So the best thing you can do for a customer might not even to be to give back to them directly. WHAT?!?! Tom you’ve lost it—I can hear you now. However hear me out you are going to be glad you did.

Let me start off this idea with an example of a great friend of mine Helen who is an animal lover or should I say activist. This woman who is in her 70’s defends the rights of animals that are being abused by their owners because they can’t defend themselves. <On a personal note–She is the reason that when I found a kitten that was left to die by her previous owners I was NOT about to let that happen and she’s healthy and on my lap as I type this>. Now this woman’s passion on the subject was simply amazing to me and helped me to open up my view of the world. She is one of those people that is so giving she would never even think of having you buy her a present.

I wanted to show her how much she meant to me (no I didn’t buy her a cat LOL) I gave a donation to the organization that helps animals in need the SPCA in her name. When she got the thank you from that she was on the verge of tears. She said “Tom that is the most thoughtful thing anybody has ever given me –THANK YOU”. I might add whenever I’m in her company and probably more when I’m not and I meet one of her friends she says this is my friend Tom Titlow and listen to what he gave me she there by launches into the story of that gift. Did I do it to draw attention? NO. Did I expect her to brag about it? NO. I was only trying to give a gift that would be meaningful to her.

However I took this idea and I applied it to my business. I did one thing that has worked like a charm to make my customers feel extremely appreciated, important and valued as human beings instead of just as my customers. This thoughtful approach has earned me many repeat sales. Do I do it for that reason? NO, but it is a nice bonus. The real reason I did it was to show how grateful I am to my customers for giving me the opportunity to serve them.

So instead of having sales I let them know up front if that I will donate any of the dollars off to what is their # 1 non profit organization. Now of course I make the donation in the customers name and nobody has ever told me no. Several have asked me if I would do the same for a second or a third sale? At this point I like to disappoint them (just for a second) and I tell them no unfortunately it is not good on the next sale……..pause, pause,pause I will be donating MORE to them with that purchase. Of course we both have a nice chuckle.

There are several times where I never mention a sale or discount and it works better. I just off- handed ask what organization means the most to them or I figure it out in conversation and I make the donation without their knowledge. Which then of course has them scratching their head asking “why did he do that if he didn’t have to?” In my mind I did have to because anything I can do to show my customers appreciation and how important they are to me is an absolute necessity whether I ever see them again or not.

Start donating on your customers behalf and watch how it impacts your business in every area.

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5 responses

12 08 2007
Cap

The more you value your clients/customers, the more prosperous your business will be. I’ve seen countless companies begin a strategy to increase customer satisfaction resulting in increased repeat business and referrals.

13 08 2007
EziGo

Great idea … and it definitely gives a great impression about your business. Starwood hotels ask the guest’s permission to add one extra dollar to his bill as a donation to the UNICEF children. It’s all a good way to build the “green” aspect of your brand.

20 12 2007
Maximus

I would like to see a continuation of the topic

15 04 2008
Hope

This is a good idea but how do you incorporate that into your business if it is an internet business and people don’t really contact you?

12 06 2008
maarten55

From my experience, expressing thanks is becoming increasingly rare. All the more reason to be sure to do so.
You’ll stand out from the crowd, and be much more likely to be remembered, and appreciated yourself
Remember:
“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” ~ Gladys B. Stern.
(You can find more Thank You quotes at InspirationalSpark.com.)

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