Showing appreciation & gratitude can show how much you value your clients
Become an Appreciator
If I gave you a baseball, you might say “Great, thanks.” But if I told you that baseball was the 755th homerun ball hit by Hank Aaron … how you’d feel about that baseball might change. It’s the same ball, but now your perception is different. It’s the same with great artwork or fine wine. These items are valuable, because we, as a society, have agreed they are valuable. But, just like the baseball, you have to know something about them to truly appreciate their value. You spend time studying their rarity, where they came from, the talent behind them, and their particular characteristics. Only when you’ve learned enough can you call yourself a true “appreciator.”
That’s an interesting play on words that has a parallel in how we value and appreciate our customers. At Domino’s Pizza, new front-line employees are trained to treat every customer – no matter how small their order – as if they were spending $10,000. That’s not just a nice customer service notion. Dominos actually studied the potential value of individual sales and discovered that a satisfied customer will, over the long-term, return again and again to the same Dominos store and spend as much as $10,000.
Obviously, we value our customers as the lifeblood of our business. But we can also become true appreciators by getting to know them on a deeper level, by understanding their fears and goals, and by developing relationships – in other words – by building engagement.
Show Your Gratitude
While appreciating your customers is critical, it’s not the end goal. It’s also vitally important to show your appreciation with a genuine sense of gratitude.
Simple acts of respect and honor go a long way toward demonstrating the value you place on your relationships. Some organizations have tremendous budgets for a extensive client relations programs where top customers are rewarded with fine dining, the hottest concert or sports tickets, or extravagant trips. If you can afford to honor your customers this way, things must be going pretty well! But all organizations, regardless of budget, would do well to remember the small kindnesses: checking-in over coffee, sending a warm birthday note, sincerely thanking a customer for their business. Be generous.