Communicating “thank you” is not overrated. It is so simple, yet people don’t express it enough. While November is known for Thanksgiving holiday in the USA, every month is an opportunity to thank people and intentionally show gratitude. Simple acts of kindness go a long way.
My friend Jeremy Watkin tweeted a thought-provoking Customer Experience Question of the Day (CXQOTD) about “How can you tell customers that you appreciate them?” The following are some of my favorite responses, and my own words of wisdom too.
5 Easy Ways To Show Customers You Care About Them
1. Send a thank you note.
When was the last time you sent a note of thanks just for being a customer? It’s a rare occurrence. Yet, a personalized, handwritten note means a lot especially in the high technology world we live in. Consider sending a postcard with a few sentences of gratitude. It requires only a few minutes of your time and about .99 cents to send including postage. One of my favorites is Postagram.
2. Pick up the phone, the old fashion way.
People know to call your customer service 800# when they have a problem. Yet, hearing from a company proactively to express words of thanks helps build trust and connections.
As Debbie Szumylo explains: “A call out of the blue to tell them they are appreciated” means a lot. Try calling a customer with no ulterior motives other than to say “I appreciate you.” Sean Hawkins once worked with a contact center agent who said, “Thank you for your partnership and business. Without you, we wouldn’t be here.” And I agree with Tanuj Diwan that we must always “be genuinely appreciative.” Customers know the difference.
3. Send thoughtful gifts based on customers’ preferences.
People love presents IF there are no sales pitches attached. MentalMarketer reminds the importance of “surprise and delight.” Be sure to tailor gifts to customer needs and habits. I also recommend empowering your staff to correct mistakes when they happen, and errors happen because they’re human. Read examples and apply my best practices.
4. Spotlight customers publically.
Rick Denton suggests “featuring customers on your marketing and social media.” I also advise making sure you have people’s permission as some don’t like publicity. Yet, customers who do approve may greatly appreciate and benefit from help in growing their online brand.
5. Ask for feedback and close the loop.
Contacting customers and listening to their perspectives demonstrates that they matter. Infusing “voice of customer” (VoC) into your CX practice can actually be your game-changer, and what I call Doing CX Right®. Other customer experience professionals share more perspectives:
- *Leslie O’Flahavan: “People just want to be heard. Listening (or reading) is the most intimate, affirming thing you can do for anyone, including customers.”
- That CX Guy: “use customer feedback to “Deliver more value. Fix bugs, add features, and ultimately make the product or service better.”
- Craig Stoss: “actioning feedback and saying thank you to those who gave you the feedback is the ultimate appreciation.”
- Jim Bass: When you take action based on customer feedback, “be sure to let them know the reason you took action is because you appreciate them and value their relationship.”