How does your company say thank you for your business?
If you answer “By supplying my customers with an excellent product or service,” you’re only halfway there. Customer delight is built out of many things — but it all starts with a thank you.
If you think that improving your thank you game is really just code for sending customers expensive gift items that are out of your budget — or for high-touch gestures that simply can’t scale — then you’re in for a refreshing surprise!
This week’s roundup is packed with goodness:
- creative ideas for how to say thank you (not just once, but built into everything you do)
- what can happen to your business when you don’t say thank you
- a case study of how a popular social media company prioritizes customer delight
- and a buzzworthy product that can help your business personalize thank you’s at scale
“Thank you” is one of the sweetest things your customers can hear. These resources are sure to bring smiles to their faces — and yours.
25 Ways to Thank Your Customers
We’re all in the customer service business, say the folks at software company Help Scout.
They’ve got a good point. No matter what industry we’re in, every product or service we sell should come with a side-helping of customer satisfaction. And there’s no better way to start delighting your customers than with thanking them for their business.
If you’ve been stumped for ideas — especially for options that are a little off the beaten path — then Help Scout’s “Fun, Quirky, Memorable: 25 Ways to Thank Your Customers” is the article for you.
This isn’t a mere listicle. Each of the 25 tips comes with real-life examples, and many have resource links to additional articles, product websites or more information. Interested in sending a handwritten note to your customers? Check out the included resource for how to get your phrasing exactly right (and then see the other suggested links for some great stationery ideas).
Next-to-no-budget? No problem. Several of the ideas involve social media — meaning free, not counting your time! — and will be welcome additions to your thank-you stockpile. There are also ideas for brick-and-mortar business as well.
The article ends with a sweet little bonus: how to thank the ones who thank your customers. Internal customer champions are on the front lines of customer service, and their daily work has direct impact on your business’ bottom line. Thanking them is an extra-nice touch.
Whether you’re just beginning your customer delight efforts — or are just looking for exciting new ideas — this article is a gold mine of information.
When “Thank You” Does Not Come Standard
Do you thank your customers for their purchase? And we don’t mean including an automated friendly message in their email receipt.
We mean a real, heartfelt thank you for your business message that comes outside of the purchase transaction.
If you don’t, marketing strategist Van Amenya thinks your business may be in for some troubled times. In his first-person article for Medium, “How Strong Is Your Thank You Game?” he relays a time he fielded a 911 call from a client who had seen his customer renewal rates plummet.
Amenya queried his client about standard customer follow-up and heard…crickets. There was no thank you, no appreciation, no contact whatsoever.
Amenya’s a copywriter by trade, but he sure knows how to salvage customer relationships. While his 6-step answer is not rocket science, it is a revolutionary processes for many businesses — especially for those industries where customer contact isn’t really required post-purchase.
Are you a service business? You’re not off the hook. Amenya’s advice goes double-duty for you (and it’s even easier to pull off).
He calls his solution an “easy fix” — and it is, in a way — but only if you’re wise enough to have put it into play in your business. What’s in your customer follow-up? If it needs some improvement, let this article be your gentle wakeup call.
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How Buffer Thanks Its Customers
Handwritten cards and stickers? Check.
We knew these items were in Buffer’s welcome arsenal, because when we participated in our first #bufferchat — the Twitter chat hosted by the popular social media company — we were wooed for our address and, within days, had received our hand-signed card and sticker stash.
But Buffer doesn’t stop there. In their article “Inside Buffer’s Community Delight: How and Why We Send Swag and What It All Costs” written by Nicole Miller, she cops to an entire “swag routine” to welcome customers and charm prospects.
Miller — not surprisingly, the same Buffer employee who sent us the stickers — spends an entire day each week on “Buffer love.” That’s 40-60 cards and packages mailed out — and a countless amount of goodwill.
But sending swag is serious business, and as Miller outlines the steps she takes, she makes it clear that swag is best appreciated when it’s tailored to the recipient (and even more when it’s a surprise). She outlines her whole strategy in the article — from how she sleuths out what to send, to the various vendors she uses, to how much it all costs the company.
There are some great ideas here (Moleskines? That’s a whole lotta love!) and Buffer’s swag repertoire is vast enough to showcase ideas and items to fit most budgets, even down to the very small.
But what’s most refreshing here isn’t the items at all; it’s the spirit of generosity and community in which they are given. And that’s something you can harness on any budget.
Want to learn more about the impact of Thank You on your business bottom line? Talk to the guy who wrote the book on it.
Business coach and bestselling author Michael F. Sciortino Sr. takes the idea of thanking customers to a whole new level in Gratitude Marketing.
Rather than just thanking customers once or twice, Sciortino wants us to weave appreciation into every customer contact. “When you combine relationship-building ideas with consistent nurturing, you create clients for life.”
Sciortino works and consults in the financial services industry, but the takeaways in his book apply to all businesses. The core tenets of Gratitude Marketing involve developing meaningful relationships and taking consistent steps to make clients feel appreciated and valued. Much of the book describes specific examples of how to do just that.
The payoff for all this effort? Long-term customer retention and delight. Although worthy in their own right, high satisfaction and trust will also bring in higher referral rates and easier upsells, says Sciortino — everything a business loves.
If you’re looking for more than just tchotchke ideas — if you’re interested in a more integrated way of expressing appreciation to your customers — this book is an excellent place to start.
Timeless Sentiment Meets Modern Technology
“Technology should be transmitting joy.”
That’s what Kenji Larsen, CTO of Bond, has to say about about his brand’s unique combination of old-fashioned thoughtfulness and high-tech delivery. Which makes sense for a company that helps your business send personalized thank-you notes
over the internet — or even from your phone.
Bond offers a computerized process that takes your hand-crafted message and puts it — literally — pen to paper. The notes aren’t handwritten, but they sure look like they are. You can even create a font in your own handwriting, where no one would be the wiser.
More than just cards written in script-y font, Bond’s Business Solution addresses the features companies — or busy execs — would need to make a card-delivery system worth its salt, such as note scheduling and detailed reporting. (It even integrates with SalesForce.)
What about the ROI? There are two case studies — both in the premium/luxury space — that spell out how Bond can help with customer engagement and retention.
And if you’re having a hard time reconciling the idea of personal touch with a text-to-handwriting service, have a listen to the CEO Sonny Caberwal, who says intent is always the harbinger of thoughtfulness. Bond, he says, just makes it easy to act on that intent.
Thoughtfulness made easy. It just might be the thing your business is looking for.
Want some inspiration for saying thank-you to your coworkers as well? Check out Appreciation at Work: How to Thank Your Colleagues »