Whether you're a small business or a large business, saying thank you is a timeless pathway to stronger relationships. Never underestimate the power of a few sincere words. Didn't our mothers teach us just that?
There are many ways to show our appreciation, so depending on your budget, time restraints, size of your business, or even the type of business, here are some tried and true examples that might come in handy:
- Have a thank you party with a theme. In my real estate office, my co-worker Steve B. holds an annual picnic and accompanying invitation to the nearby baseball park in Jupiter, Florida. Steve invites his past clients and their families and friends to a neighborhood park area and has everyone bring a covered dish. It's a fun time for families, and a great time to catch up with old friends.
- Invest in quality thank you notes. If you run a bakery where you design the fanciest of wedding cakes, why not purchase stationery to reflect the elegance of your product? In real estate, I design my thank you notes to reflect Keyes Real Estate Services with a hint of additional personalization to make it uniquely me.
- Make it warm and personal. This is the time to just thank someone. There should be no agendas; not even the hint of asking for a referral.
- Thank someone in a timely manner. Have your thank you notes out within 48 hours of the sale or service. Find some way to show your appreciation immediately.
- Continue to send out gratitude expressions by sending out value newsletters or educational material that will benefit your customer now or in the future. For instance, in the real estate profession, the economy has made such a profound impact on both buyers and sellers, customers and clients appreciate the updates. And again, it is not being used as a sales ploy; it is meant to be helpful and educational.
- Send follow-up thank you notes and greetings at the right time. Use different times of the year or holidays to remind your customers and clients how much you appreciate their business. Now it's springtime - why not send a greeting?
- Thank your employees for a job well done. It is not just customers who need to be thanked. The staff who work for an organization are the people who have helped you to climb the ladder of success.
- Don't forget to thank the customers who complained. While you might have found them frustrating and at times irritating, if you have taken the proper steps to resolve problems and enlisted their help to make changes, it is very possible these are the people who might very well be carrying the torch of new business.