Happy Holidays 2019!
The holiday season is a great time to stop and reflect on your efforts to ensure your customers feel appreciated for no other reason than they are your customers! We know that today’s wired and dangerous customers are picky, fickle, vocal and vain*! It is particularly important to understand the fickle moniker. They are Fickle--much quicker to leave if unhappy. They not only show a lower tolerance for error, they will exit just on account of plain old indifferent service. The hype of a brand name means little in deterring the disappointed customer's exit. This means we have to have a very consistent and continuous campaign to ensure we are showing our customers how grateful we are that they are our customers!
“Thank you!” These are arguably the two most powerful words in the English language. Customers and colleagues love to hear and feel a sincere “thank you”. Imagine what would happen to your business if everyone increased their use of these two words with associates and customers. This tactic can set an organization apart in an era of “take-you-for-granted” service. The goal is not simply the expression of a statement but rather the conveyance of a feeling. We have all heard “thank you” directed at us, knowing full well there was little sincerity behind it. When delivering innovative service, thank you means communicating gratitude in a fashion that makes customers and colleagues feel your authenticity.
At my favorite restaurant in Atlanta Tacqueria del Sol the staff determines which customers deserve to be known as “Regulars” and earn a free “holiday meal” which includes adult beverages. Those customers who have earned the title of “regular” through their patronage are surprised with their free meal sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This simple act of gratitude excites regular customers year after year and continues to earn loyalty. What are you doing today to improve the authentic communication of gratitude to your customers and colleagues?
I would like to sincerely thank my family, all of my colleagues, my readers and especially my clients. My best wishes for a very happy, safe and prosperous holiday season!
*Chip R. Bell and John R. Patterson, Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What To Do About It, (San Francisco, Berrett Koehler, 2011)