Wouldn’t we all love it if our customers ran around like headless chickens spreading amazing things about our services?
Of course, of course, we don’t want our customers to be headless … but how do we achieve that last part?
On the question “How do your customers find out about your business”, Verizon conducted a survey with small business owners that showed a staggering 85% of the customers come from word of mouth, whereas only 59% resulted from search engines.
But before jumping into the “how”, we first need to acknowledge one very important element:
The extended lifetime value (LTV) of your customer is pretty much where the bees make their honey. Now, we won’t go into the technical details on how to actually calculate LTV as there are already many sources for that available through a simple google search.
But the idea of the extended LTV is something that we at HelpJuice use a lot and it looks like this:
LTV + (LTV * Referral Rate)
Meaning that once you get a certain amount of referrals, you’ll be able to calculate how much is “fair” to spend on an improved customer experience.
So how do you get good referrals and word of mouth from the customers? At the risk of sounding too sentimental – it’s all about how you make them feel.
Best part? For 1% of people you’re doing this to, you will end up getting a new customer!
What I’m gonna take you through is a list of tips and tricks that you can implement to show your customers you care. The results your company can gain from these is limitless.
So let’s dig right into it and check out ten simple ideas, ranging from cheap to expensive, on how you can put a smile on your customer’s face by saying THANK YOU:
1. Handwritten Note.
Take out a pen, pencil or a set of colors – and sit down to write a very personal letter in which you express your appreciation and gratitude to your customer. Nothing feels better than knowing that somebody had taken the time out of their day just to say thank you in a peculiar and unusual way.
2. Holiday Cards.
Mark your calendar for all the important holidays of the year. If your customer is living abroad in a different country – take the time to look up the holidays of his culture as well! It will certainly blow the Turkish customer’s mind if he receives a “Happy Ramadan!” card from his US-based company and will definitely leave a strong and unforgettable imprint in his mind!
Pick out a customer every couple of months that you have reason to highly value and put him on the front page of the website/Facebook Page/Twitter/Instagram. This concept was implemented by a coffee shop and worked wonders for the customers’ impressions of the place. Just check out their comment section to see what it means to do this little gesture!
4. Discount Bill.
On a once-in-a-while basis, when billing one of your customers – give him a random discount! Bill him for a couple of % less than the original price and await a wonderful reaction in the e-mail. If he suspiciously asks “why”, give a simple “just because” kind of answer. There doesn’t always have to be a motive behind everything!
5. Little Treasures.
Small useful items that your customer can use on an everyday basis can go a long way. This could be anything, really: Coffee mugs, flowers, buttons, t-shirts, pens or stickers. Place your logo on it with a funny statement or quote and give it away!
6. Gift Card.
As we are going up the ladder for more and more valuable customers, let’s start thinking a little deeper. Create special gift cards that your customer can use when browsing your services. They can be anything from discounts to additional perks and addons or 2 for 1 kind of offers. If you want to be sneaky about it, add another “recommend us to 5 of your friends and receive an additional 10% discount”.
7. Mystery Baskets.
For the customers that have left a more significant imprint on you – baskets are a very personal way of saying “really, thank you!”. I like to call them mystery baskets because you never know what you’re going to get. Fill a basket up with any kind of small treats, items, candy, chocolates or free books that you consider your customer to deserve!
8. Surprise Upgrade!
Turn it into a fun lottery. Announce that for the next 100 – 500 visitors, you will pick out a random customer to receive a surprise upgrade on the product! Depending on what your company does, this could be a premium membership, VIP package upgrade of the standard product or another smaller product to go with the big one.
9. Exclusive Trip to Bali, Anyone?
For that one special enterprise customer you have – considering rewarding him BIG. Of course, it all depends on if you can afford it (see extended LTV formula) – but go as far as you possibly can. A trip to Bali, all-you-can eat dinner at a fancy restaurant or expensive theater tickets . . . It’s all up to you and your level of creativity. And money. But never underestimate your biggest client that brings you in the most money or additional customers. This is the customer you want to aim at keeping for life!
10. Throw a Big Party!
A collective party exclusively for your customers and employees will bond you deeper and let everybody get to know each other properly. Nikon hosted a great and successful party a few years back where they implemented a photography booth for people to take pictures. This was their way of saying “thank you” to their customers and it worked wonders! Of course, if you can’t afford a big spectacular party on the level of Nikon’s – remember that it’s not about the flashy environment. You can host any kind of events or gatherings really, as long as it fits into the theme of your company and its service and gives people and opportunity to mingle!
My favorite bakery in the whole world is the one right down my street here in Bosnia. Considering there’s a million different bakeries at every street corner in Sarajevo, you might ask yourself: Why this one?
See I’ve been a regular customer in that bakery for the last 4 years. It’s always the usual routine: Come in, get a loaf of bread, a sandwich and potentially a chocolate cookie – and leave.
But the reason this bakery sticks out from all the others is simple . . .
I walked into the bakery late one night to buy a loaf of bread. The lady went into the backroom to get it for me, but I noticed it took her an unusual amount of time to come back. . . When she returned, she held out a plastic bag with the loaf of bread . . . but also several chocolate cookies, cheese and meat pitas, and a couple of hot dogs. This amount of food I saw could last me two whole days!
My mind was BLOWN. I stared at her blankly as she held out the plastic bag and smiled at me.
“Why?” I asked her.
“We see you here almost every day and I simply wanted to thank you for choosing our bakery out of all the others.”
I reciprocated with a smile and told her: “Well if I had ever considered switching to a different bakery, you have now killed off the chance of that ever happening”.
She laughed and I left with a feeling of trust and satisfaction for that place.
This happened over a year ago and to this day, I’m still a regular at that very same bakery.
When people ask me WHY I like that bakery more than any of the others, I tell them what most satisfied customers will say about their favorite place:
“I feel appreciated.”
And that is truly everything there is to it. Making the customer feel appreciated is something that, surprisingly, not many companies do! Stop thinking “sell, sell, sell” and remember for a moment that you are dealing with human beings. THAT is what customer satisfaction is in its core.
So start looking for inspiration on how YOU can show your customers you care about them and thank them for being loyal. Let the imagination flow and get down to it right away!
PS: Got tips and tricks of your own to share on how you can show customers you care? Comment below, let’s discuss it!