It is that time of year when we look at what we are grateful for and, of course, put things on our wishlist for things we want. We often discuss the holidays that stretch from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as the “holiday season.” A time to share with family, to give thanks, and be happy with all we have while also giving to those closest to us.
For many businesses, it is the same thing. Assess the business, be grateful for the success and see where you still want to see more. Much of what is done during this period is much like the rest of the year, but with added urgency and putting together a view of the upcoming year.
We look at numbers, create forecasts, set budgets and make plans. All of this is done while making the last push for sales to close out the year while hopefully making plans for a little time off to spend with family and friends or just to escape for a short period of time.
Too often, there is the reality that we are “thanking” our customers by sending a marketing email to make one of those end-of-the-year sales or reminding them of the special deal made “just for our valued customers”. I get plenty of those, in fact from Wednesday to Friday surrounding Thanksgiving I probably had over one hundred emails in my personal account “thanking me” and giving me exclusive access to a Black Friday deal.
In an amusing twist, even my business emails had a set of exclusive post-Thanksgiving special offers.
When it comes to the customer journey, whether it is about the customer experience or the employee experience, it doesn’t always have to be about upsell or revenue maximization. Sometimes it should simply be about gratitude.
4 ways to show gratitude to your customers
Beyond a customer feedback loop, your customer experience strategy should also be about being thankful for your customers. There are many ways to show thanks, it might now be sending all your customers a plate of cookies, but there are some simple and meaningful ways to say “Thank You” that a customer will remember.
Here are four that any business should be able to do:
- Write a letter – Just as that retailer did with me, send a sincere note of thanks to your customers. It can be by email, but if you are able to do it, hand written notes also make a big impression. It can be simple, just four words did it for me. You can also go into greater detail.
- Be an active listener – This can take many forms. You certainly don’t want to have customers calling into your contact center just to talk, but you do have ways to listen through channels from which you should be listening. For example, many brands look to a social media analysis to “listen” to customers, but is it really active listening? In a Voice-of-the-Customer program, active listening includes being able to respond individually. So you can leverage tools like CX Reputation to actually respond to online ratings and reviews. It isn’t just about responding to negative feedback, it should also include being grateful to those that give you positive reviews. Genuine thanks, and not an automatic response.
- Give a thoughtful gift – This can be complicated. Too often, that gift can look like a marketing ploy. A five dollar coupon off a fifty-dollar purchase is not a gift but a promotion. There are ways however. If you are a B2B focused organization, it might be a thank you meal or a cup of coffee. Even at a retail level, it could be a small gift of thanks at the store – perhaps a branded tchotchke (limited supply only of course).
For that limited supply, if you are in the US, you can get a limited supply of Thank You by clicking here. Just my small gift for you taking the time to read my blog.
- Offer your help – Also one that can backfire if you make it more about marketing than giving thanks. We often give thanks to our clients that use our CX Enterprise Software by just providing an extra level of service, helping them build something new, or breathing new life into how they deploy our customer experience software platform across all their customer experience touchpoints. It may seem self-serving, but we often do this without any obligation as a way of showing our appreciation for them.
Giving thanks can be very easy, no matter your business. Since you made it to the end, I will say Thank You for reading my last blog of the year as I take a little time to rush through end of the year activities and perhaps a little time off. Be certain to say thank you to all those around you.