You may not have ever considered doing this. But next time you eat, look at your plate. And say thanks to your clients.
Without them, you don’t eat. Does that make you stop and think back to the last time you said thank you to them for real?
I did that once. I had that realisation. I then thought I should go see them and say thanks because it should be done personally. But there were over 100. And well, it felt a bit weird just turning up and saying thank you. Then what? Turn around and leave? Hand them a bunch of flowers or a box of chocs?
I’m British after all!
Maybe I should just call them I thought. And then that Stevie Wonder song came into my head. Can you hear the tune now? “I just called, to say, I love you”.
Hmmm…that would be a bit weird too. Even if I replaced “love” with “thanks”.
But I felt genuinely grateful for their custom. And I almost didn’t do it. We had the odd client who turned the screw on us for everything. If we personally visited their office every day, laid out the red carpet from their car to their door, and made them breakfast before they started the day, they’d moan. Or ask for a discount. And they’d see saying thanks as a sign of weakness they’d ruthlessly exploit.
Thankfully, the vast majority of clients were wonderful. They weren’t re-enacting their school playground bullying in the grown up world like the tiny minority. And I couldn’t put off saying thanks just because of the odd problem client that we are all blessed with from time to time.
The cheesiness of a “thank you” visit or phone call, could be overcome with a simple email.
That way, all of them would be thanked. A lot more quickly than visits or calls.
I Did 4 Things And Got 4 Unexpected Results Back.
There were 4 elements in the email:
1. I thanked them for their custom.
2. Many had recommended us. I thanked them for doing that.
3. Asked for Ideas on anything we can do to improve
4. Invited complaints – was there anything they were unhappy with
In return we got:
1. Recommendations. It seems those who saw that others had recommended seemed to want to join the club of those thanked for referrals
2. Repeat business. Some who hadn’t bought for a while remembered we existed and also things they needed
3. Compliments. Asking for complaints seemed to instead produce compliments from all the happy clients
4. The odd complaint – things we didn’t even know we weren’t doing – it saved clients who may simply have walked away
Would You Get The Same Results?
Why not try it? Copy, paste and adapt the email I suggest. All I want in return is feedback if you experience any of those things I did. I’m writing a book on word of mouth and would love to hear:
Ask The Author A Question – And Get A Personal Answer
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Either copy, adapt and paste these questions, or ask your own about this topic or any other topic concerning growing your business through word of mouth:
“Yes, but this doesn’t apply to me because [your reason]…so, what can I do?”
“I am in the [insert business type] sector, how can I grow my business through word of mouth?”
Or you choose?