Why a “thank you” can go a very long way in business

It’s not often that companies thank their consumers and clients. As is often the way with business, a transactional relationship is often maintained, but nothing more. Indeed, the relationship tends to be very much a one-way street, with most communication travelling from the company to the customer in the form of advertising. But what if small and medium-sized business owners started taking the time to show customers gratification? Their loyalty is, after all, absolutely fundamental to business success.


Remember the importance of feeling appreciated

We all like to feel valued every now and again. Thanking customers for making a purchase through channels including email, postal notes or social media can be a great way of making them feel appreciated and increase the likelihood of them making a return visit. According to the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA), almost 80% of people feel appreciated when they receive a branded gift – a great reason to get creative!

Notes of gratification do not have to cost much. It may be a cliché, but it really is the thought that counts. However, something physical like a well-designed card or promotional product may be the most effective option, as it will feel almost like receiving a gift. The customer may even put it up in their home, serving as a constant reminder to visit your store or services again.


Make sure your branding is up to scratch

92% of people have one promotional product on their desk, so it is important that yours stands out from the crowd. Remember that your brand logo or colour scheme are vital things to think about when drawing up customer gratification scheme. If a customer decides to take a picture of a promotional ‘thank you’ gift for social media, for example, its effectiveness as a potential marketing tool will increase manifold if your brand is recognisable.

It is also important to think about what kind of item you will actually gift your customers. According to the BPMA, usefulness is top of the agenda for most recipients (think mugs or pens), followed by price and relevance to a given campaign.


Thank customers for their loyalty

Loyalty schemes are a widely used and effective business model. However, one way to increase their effectiveness may be to include a surprise ‘thank you every so often. Offering a 50% discount for a short period of time for members, for example, may encourage them to spend when they may not have otherwise. If you have your customer’s details in a database, birthdays are a particularly good time to do this sort of promotion, as they will be in a good mood and ready to spend their money. Again, it will also increase brand loyalty and encourage the spread of good news about your company.

 

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John Wiggins