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Do you thank and appreciate your customers? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Donald Cooper   

ImageLoyal customers are a treasure and they love being thanked, acknowledged and appreciated for their loyalty. The good news is that today's technology allows us to track, thank and ‘wow' them in simple, affordable and powerful ways.

When I rented a car from Avis in Calgary recently, they upgraded me from a Chevy Impala to a Cadillac CTS, because I'm a "Preferred Member". Then, when I arrived at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise a few hours later, they upgraded me to a Superior Room, because I'm a President's Club member. I also got free internet.

Both Avis and Fairmont have me in their database, they track my purchases and "thank" me from time to time in ways that delight me, and keep me coming back. Here are a few more examples of businesses doing little extra things to thank and honour and retain good customers.

  • My favorite menswear store gives me a beautiful silk tie from time to time, when I'm making a large purchase.
  • North Restaurant in Muskoka just had a special "by invitation" evening to introduce their summer menu to their most loyal customers.
  • Affordable art seller PI International in Toronto sends out pre-sale notices to regular customers giving them first crack at their best offerings, before the general public is allowed in.
The ‘gift' that you give regular customers might be as simple as remembering their name, or that they love gardening, or thanking them for their business. Surveys show that very few businesses actually say "thank you". How goofy is that?

So, what are you doing to track, thank, appreciate, honour and reward your most loyal customers? Do you even know who they are? Do you know anything about them as people and what special little gestures will be significant to them? The technology is there - all it takes is your caring and your ‘doing'.

Special VIP treatment doesn't always have to be free. While it's important to thank, reward and acknowledge customers, keep in mind VIP treatment can also be an excellent revenue generating opportunity.

For example, Norwegian Cruise Lines has just introduced exclusive "Cabanas on the Cay" with VIP service and amenities on Great Stirrup Cay, their 250-acre private island paradise in the Bahamas. Many of their customers are delighted to pay extra to get the VIP treatment.

Chatham Kent Construction Products helps small contractors by renting them storage units, right in their yard, to securely store their equipment, tools and materials. Because these contactors then start their day by going to their storage unit to pick up tools and equipment, where do they buy their building materials? This is brilliant marketing and a revenue generator.

So, what added VIP treatment could you add to your product or service that would clearly differentiate you, delight your customers and grow your bottom line?

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability. For more information, or to subscribe to his thought-provoking free business e-newsletter, go to

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