Thank you. Those two words are two of the most important for any business owner. You do your best to provide the best services or the highest quality products. Maybe you cook great food in your restaurant, or provide reliable plumbing when there’s an emergency. But when was the last time you actually thanked your customers?
Research shows that saying “thank you” in a yearly greeting card can increase your company’s business by 17 percent! A study by a fundraiser, found out that when the director of a university personally thanked their donors, fundraising increased another 50 percent.
There is absolutely no downside to saying thank you. In fact, it is very simple and has a high Return On Investment (ROI).
When to say thank you?
In addition to thanking customers for their business, thank you’s are necessary when:
- Someone gives you a referral
- You get a glowing tweet, testimonial or Facebook post
- Someone sends you repeat business
There are various inexpensive ways to get your appreciation across to customers:
- After a job or service is complete, send a thank you note saying “Thank you. It was great to work for you/help you out/do your hair, etc.”
- Keep a list of new visitors to your business so you can follow up with a “thank you” note a week later (a great idea for restaurant owners).
- Many businesses have installed automatic coffee machines for customers. If you do this (great idea), remember to put a sign beside the machine saying “Thank you”!
- Hold customer appreciation days where you hand out inexpensive items, such as a flower for moms, complimentary beverages, sweets. One men’s clothing store employs a manicurist who provides hand massages and manicures to females who find themselves waiting in the store! The sign above her table says, “thank you for coming in with your man!”
- If you provide professional services (financial, legal, accounting, etc.) consider taking your clients to lunch or at least coffee.
- Negotiate with another business owner when choosing a customer appreciation gift. For example, if you know a local bakery, perhaps you could provide their cookies one day for clients, and at the same time, help another entrepreneur get the word out about their products.
- Handwritten cards are always appreciated. But so are sincere emails and telephone calls.
- Try not to mix promotions with thank you’s. Ideally, a thank you should be on its own, without a discount coupon unless the coupon is for something 100 percent free.
- Make it genuine. Use the person’s name, pronounce it correctly, and say thank you in a heartfelt way!
- Make it timely. Thank you’s should be done within a few days of an event or visit. Don’t wait longer than a week.
- Be creative! There are so many ways to say thank you in a fun, or memorable way.