Are you thanking your customers?
Whether you sell to consumers or to other businesses, loyal customers are a treasure and they love being thanked, acknowledged and appreciated for their loyalty. The good news is 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 Banff Springs Hotel a few hours later, they upgraded me to a superior room on the Club Floor 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 often delight me and keep me coming back. Here are a few more examples of businesses doing little extra things to thank, honour and retain good customers.
- My favorite menswear store gives me a beautiful silk tie from time to time, especially when I’m making a large purchase.
- My favourite local restaurant sent me a special invitation to sample their ‘Spring Menu’.
- 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.
- A few smart building supply retailers have hired me to deliver an evening ‘Accelerate Your Business’ seminar for their contractor customers to help them become more effective managers.
- The ‘gift’ you give regular customers might be as simple as remembering their name, their preferences or that they love gardening. Or, it could just be a sincere ‘thank you’ for their business. Surveys show 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 recently 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 contractors then start their day by going to their storage unit to pick up tools and equipment, where are they most likely to 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?