I was once on my way back from a marketing presentation across the state, when I stumbled upon a cute little vintage boutique called Brazen Betties down the street from my work site. I couldn’t stop myself from perusing the eclectic handmade jewelry and vintage clothing inside.
As I stood in front of a mirror admiring a feathered, handmade hair accessory, the owner Julia Sloan walked up to me exclaiming how nicely the colors complimented my hair and told me to keep it, no charge. I was completely blown away.
The experience led me to not only buy one other item that day, but more in the future, and I have since shared her business with my friends on Facebook and now here in this blog. Her expression of gratitude — stemming from her appreciation that I visited her business — kindled in me a kindness and loyalty to her that hasn’t been forgotten, even though this experience happened well over a year ago.
When you think of marketing, does gratitude play into your strategy? Not only does gratitude encourage businesses to provide better service to their customers but it plays an important part in the bigger concept of relationship marketing, which emphasizes customer loyalty and retainment.
Learn to express your company’s gratitude with these three components that can easily be incorporated into your marketing plan.
Retain Customers by Celebrating Their Engagement
Studies in relationship marketing show that by doing something nice for your customers, you increase the chances of that kindness being reciprocated back.
Encourage loyalty by showing your audience you appreciate them. Send a creative pop-up card honoring the one year anniversary of their first purchase, or a special, customized email to acknowledge the day they joined your email list; or give them a special shout-out on your Facebook or Twitter page when they join your audience. The world is a busy place with a lot of choices, so acknowledge their effort by letting them know you’ve paid attention to their engagement.
Find milestones to honor your customer and show them you care and you’ll increase your chances of securing a lasting relationship.
Give Awesome Stuff to Promote Your Business
Not everything you give your customer should be for sale. Offer information, tools, and resources to help your customer make informed decisions about products or services, or topics that are relevant to what they are seeking. Give them free samples of your products so they can explore your business; even better get feedback from their experience so you can find ways to improve services. Prove to them that you care about what they think and give them information that reinforces the advantages of doing business with you versus your competitors.
Create Unforgettable Customer Interactions
In a research report prepared for American Express, surveys showed that two thirds of consumers are willing to pay more at a business that takes care of their needs and exceeds their expectations. Demonstrate the quality of your service by eschewing protocol in favor of giving something a little more personal to your customer.
Enter the handwritten note.
Remember when people used to send cards? In this digital age, many businesses have forgotten the value of personalized print materials. This offers an advantage to savvy marketers because a simple handwritten note to your customer during the holidays or on their birthday can make a lasting impression.
Find unique ways to reward your customer and customize their experience by taking the time to be grateful for their business. After all, without the customer, where would your business be?
What do you think about gratitude in marketing? Tell us in the comments below.
Image above courtesy greatergood.berkeley.edu.