So, you’ve finally started that business you’ve been dreaming of, and you’re ready to tackle the big hurdle: customer appreciation. If you’re looking to inspire customer loyalty to capitalize on important customer relationships, here are three tips to help guide you.
Know Your Audience
The number one thing you need to do when looking for a loyal customer base is to know your audience. Remembering names and faces can go a long way, but remembering facts about that person or group of people that you interacted with can make an even bigger splash. For example, if you have a client who is an avid dog lover, consider bringing any assortment of dog gift baskets. Whatever you choose, let it be a reminder that you pay attention to the people behind the company for a more personal touch.
Follow the Golden Rule
As an entrepreneur, you probably know how it feels to be on the receiving end of shady customer service policies and pushy salespeople. The golden rule is simple: treat others how you want to be treated. If you find yourself getting annoyed at a company rep that drops by unannounced every week or sends weirdly stale boxes of chocolates once a year, that’s a pretty good sign to stay away from that method of acting towards your own clientele. Remember that the wrong kind of attention can get you blacklisted from your client and any potential referrals.
Make it Count
While marketing is certainly a way to get name recognition of your brand, your customers have already heard of you. What you want to do is make sure that they think of you positively when a need arises that you can fill. This means making sure your quality of work and customer service is top notch. It also means that when giving a customer appreciation gift, you make it meaningful. Functional gifts such as pens and pads of paper are more marketing tools than sincere gifts of appreciation, and your customers will see right through those tactics. Instead, make your gift count. Be creative, or at least make your gift relevant. For example, hand-delivering bagels with every sales call can be more meaningful than magnets or cheap office supplies. Doing what you can to have your company name remembered with fondness instead of annoyance can go a long way towards building the loyalty and friendship that can lead to your company’s success.
When it comes to customer appreciation, the more your company exceeds expectations, the better. By familiarizing yourself with your clientele and allowing them to familiarize themselves with your company, you can do more than retain a customer, you can build lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.