Saying thank you to your customers doesn’t always mean giving a gift or special offer – you can also thank them for their business by expanding their professional networks and business connections.
One of the best ways to make your customers feel appreciated and valuable is to think of their business as though it were your business. This isn’t a light bulb moment in itself, but if you stop to think about where you’re positioned in your customers’ lives, other than simply providing the service or products that they pay you for, you can easily go one step beyond the call of duty.
It often helps to think of your customers as a business club. Rather than individuals with particular needs, you clients are a group of people with something in common: YOU! You are what brings these people together, and a simple way to say thank you is to create business connections for them.
When you look at your customer base in its entirety, you might discover some amazing synergies. Find ways to tell your customers who you’re working with so that they can explore the possibilities for themselves. For example, if you have customers in similar industries, why not get them together for a drink to help them make new business connections? If you have clusters of customers, what fun ways might you be able to bring them together?
If you’re celebrating a milestone in your business, why not hold a small event where you can share your appreciation and let them know that without them, you wouldn’t be there at all. Thank them by making sure everyone there can benefit from everyone else in some way. Think widely.
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Don’t just get everyone into the same room and leave them to it though. Make sure you make the introductions to everyone in the group to break the ice. Maybe even produce a ‘VIP list’ from the event and distribute it to the group who attended by email or mail as a follow up.
As part of your communications:
- Provide a list of your customers on your website
- Include a ‘Who’s New’ profile about your latest customer in your email or print newsletter
- Profile your work with a particular customer or group of customers and write it up as a case study – with their permission of course
- Think about how you can up-sell your offering through a small, free workshop for a group of customers. Offer a nugget of gold from your capabilities as the enticement
- Provide information about your customers’ industries that they might find useful
- Make email introductions between specific people or organisations
These are just starters. By analysing your customer demographics you might just find a way to say thank you that really hits the spot and makes you a valuable, memorable part of their lives.
Are you someone who actively creates business connections for others? What have the benefits been for your own business?