By Nicole V. Candler APR, Nic Creative Public Relations
While many of us will spend this week planning holiday traffic routes or preparing a menu for the annual feast, I hope we can take a moment to reflect on those who should receive a bit of gratitude. All year long, our clients and our customers help us become more profitable by trusting in our services and paying our fees. It is because of them that our table will be filled and we can afford other holiday blessings. Regardless of our industry, communicating our appreciation is a habit that should be adopted year round.
Maybe chicken should be the official holiday bird?
I have to admit that when I place my order at Chick-fil-A, I’m a little startled to receive “my pleasure” in response to my “thank you.” Fast Company has noticed this, too. There is something about that little bit of gratitude that sticks with me, especially when I’m lucky to get anything more than change and a receipt at other restaurants. Are you thanking your customers for the opportunity to use your skills to their benefit? Are you articulating it? Consider ending your next strategy meeting with a client, or your next encounter with a customer with a sincere “thank you” for the opportunity to be of service to them and a reminder than you enjoy the work you perform.
Are you properly and promptly thanking customers for their business referral?
Representing small, service-bases businesses has shown me the amount of new customers that can be generated by referral. Especially for small businesses with little marketing or advertising budget, a word of mouth reference, a favorable post on Angie’s List , or the retelling of favorable service on Facebook can be golden. However, having a system in place to ask for these referrals and rewarding them is key. Be sure to ask customers if they are happy with the service they received and ask that they tell others about it. Here are some tips from About.com. This also allows the customer the chance to tell you if they aren’t pleased, rather than have them blast you to their family, coworkers and friends. Determine how you want to thank people for directing a new customer your way. Will you give them a discount on their next service? Or, is a gift program (complete with promotional items featuring you logo, of course) a better route for you? Duct Tape Marketing has a couple of ideas.
Take a break from the food prep, or do some brainstorming while you drive. Simple solutions can help your company be more thankful, and more profitable, throughout the year.