Several years ago, I started a family tradition with my son. During the holidays, before our meals, we recognize small acts of kindness given to us during the day or what we are grateful for having.
These expressions of grace can be for a new client engagement, for a stranger lending an unexpected helping hand, or a lesson learned. The most important part is recognizing the gifts we receive during the day.
For our family businesses, it has been an interesting year as we expanded a new business and I completed my third and fourth books. 2018 was also one of the most frustrating years I have experienced as a business owner, author, and professional speaker.
My gratitude for our clients and customers is heartfelt. I am grateful for our new customers and clients, especially the new corporate client that we engaged this past week.
I believe maintaining human contact with our key clients and customers is essential. Regardless of the purchase, we buy and conduct business with individuals we trust. We also refer our friends and business associates to companies we trust and value.
For some reason, last week I thought of a book a business professor recommended reading when I was in college. He was a fan of Harvey McKay and included his most famous book, Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive in his reading assignment.
McKay’s book was popular along In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters which was about creating solid value-based businesses with excellent customer service. Remembering these books, I feel like the content was written a hundred years’ ago! The rapid advancement of technology especially in the past six years has been significant.
Back to McKay’s book, he talked about taking the time to thank your customers and to be grateful for their business regardless of the products or services you were selling.
Each year I send our clients a thank you note and customers holiday greeting cards. I know our businesses would not exist without our clients, customers, and readers.
As business owners, we never know when a former client or business associate or customer will refer someone resulting in a sale. I tell my son, to be thankful for his customers and to let them know he appreciates their business. I have learned through the years, expressing gratitude, genuine gratitude provides more return than a Facebook ad or Yelp post.
For the next three or four weeks, think about how you and your team can show random acts of gratitude during the holidays towards your customers or clients.
Here are a Couple of Ideas to Consider:
- Instead of saying hello when customers enter your business replace with the phrase, “We appreciate your business! Thank you for taking the time to visit our store.” One or two simple sentences, genuinely spoken, will most likely surprise customers. Daily we share positive and negative stories. It is important to make a conscious choice to create positive stories.
- Send personalized emails from individual team members.
- Write handwritten notes to clients letting them know how much their business means to your company.
- For store locations, post thank you signs and have food treats available. Another idea is for team members to write notes on a poster board, sharing memories and letting customers know they are genuinely thankful.
Always remember to take time to share your thankfulness and it will be returned twofold.