Customer Tip #3

CUSTOMER TIP: Words have meaning. At least, they should. Unfortunately more often than not, in this new age of slogans and gimmicks, mission statements and goal setting, companies forget to “say what they mean, and mean what they say”.

Just because your receptionist SAYS ‘thank you for calling’ to each customer before she speeds through the company name and the other  phrase she’s required to say… doesn’t mean she’s actually appreciative for that customer’s call. It’s obvious in the robotic, memorized cadence in how the words are delivered with each call.  Making someone say something doesn’t force them to feel it.

The real key is to help employees understand why customers are important. Our purpose for coming to work each day must be more than to get a paycheck at the end of the week. Employees need to understand that it is a customer that actually pays our checks, keeps the lights on and truly holds the cards for any given business.

Without our customers coming back, we face the harsh reality facing many companies these days – the doors closing, families losing jobs, owners losing even more.

Customer Tip #1:

Industry specific holiday cards and thank you cards are a great way to show your appreciation and to stay in touch with your customers during times they may not be doing business with you.

For other tips check back here or like us on Facebook . We’ll be adding new tips throughout the rest of the year.

CUSTOMER TIP 1: Never take your customers for granted. There are always others that can, and will, do what you do. Sometimes for less, sometimes faster, sometimes just in a manner that shows they care more about the customer that used to be yours. Customers are not a distraction from other work to be done. Customers are the reason you are in business. Be sure you treat them as such.

Marketing in a down economy

I was talking with a friend, a very bright business owner.  He’d mentioned that business was slow this year so he was cutting back on advertising. He said he certainly had to cut out Holiday Greeting Cards this year. 

 

I’m telling you, this guy is one of the smartest guys I know.  I was stunned.  When I finally picked my jaw up from the ground we sat down and talked.

 

Slow times are the most important times to remind customers that they matter to you.  The fact that they haven’t done business with you in some time could result from a number of factors.

 

·         Haven’t needed your services

·         Don’t feel they have money for your services

·         Too busy to concern themselves with your services

·         Found someone else offering the same services

 

No matter what, getting your name, your face, your company in front of them is the key to keeping them as your customer.  The holidays make this easy.  This can be a simple card that lets them know they are important to you.  Don’t misread me here though, this is more than a greeting card.  It is a marketing tool.  To have the opportunity to connect with clients and then not ensure they see your wishes and recognize your business in the process is a WASTED opportunity.

·         Have your company name imprinted on the inside of your cards and then sign your cards personally

·         If possible, write a small note on the inside of the card, personal to that client, start with their name

·         And of course, order cards that help you stand out from the numerous other well wishers

 

Industry Specific Holiday Cards are a perfect way to do this.  If you’re an electrician and you send out an electrician themed Christmas card your card gets noticed.  A clever card that portrays your industry in a positive way is an advertisement on its own. It creates a buzz and encourages others to see who sent it. Adding your logo or name to the ouside of your greeting card is also a great benefit to your company.

 

Plus, a holiday greeting card is one of the oldest American Traditions.  Sharing this cultural icon with customers brings the relationship to a more personal level and bonds giver and receiver in a way no other printed piece can match. This personal relationship, with continued effort on your part, tends to evolve into customer loyalty.

 

Bringing loyalty to your customer base is the way to keep your business afloat in these trying times. 

·         Loyal customers rarely leave over a small change in price.

·         Loyal customers are more inclined to pay you on time.

·         Loyal customers talk about your company favorably with others.

 

Oh, and back to my friend, he recognized the errors of his misguided greeting card concepts. He decided to order cards after all. Hopefully you’ll do the same.