It’s one thing to hear people spout off statistics; it’s another thing to live the reality of the statistics. I’ve heard people share many times about the cost of acquisition of a new customer, but I don’t think I truly understood what they were saying.
Maybe I could not appreciate it because as an associate at a fortune 100 company, I always worked on the operations part of the business. I took for granted that the customers were there; I just focused on taking good care of them.
Now, I’m responsible for finding the customer and ensuring that the customer is having a positive experience. I’ve always been customer-focused – now, I’m ultra customer-focused! Not only do I want to meet and exceed their needs, I also want to let them know how much I appreciate them. I appreciate the opportunity to serve them. I appreciate their trust in my organization.
How do you do that? Here are a couple of thoughts and actions I take:
- Tell them. There’s nothing like letting people know that you appreciate them by saying, “I appreciate this partnership.” As I’m thinking about this, I do not do or say this as much as I should and I need to correct that.
- Quarterly or biannually, I would like to intentionally express my appreciation via a physical note or gift. December is easiest to consider for me. There’s nice offerings from all kinds of vendors because of the holidays. For the second quarter this year, I sent coffee mugs and a note. Truly, I want my clients to know that they are often on my mind; likewise, I want to be on their minds too (in a good way, of course).
- When I see things in media, articles, or a book that focus in on my client’s industry or what they’re experiencing in their business – I share it with them. Or I might meet someone that I think would make a great connection and introduce them. Our relationship is a partnership, and it’s important that we stay connected.
A couple of my new suppliers asked me about some of my favorite things during the onboarding process. I shared about my favorite snacks and restaurants along with my expectations for the partnership.
Regardless of being asked, I am pleasantly surprised when a box of dark chocolate covered raisins or a gift card to my favorite restaurant arrives. I’m not sharing that to say that appreciation can only be shown with gifts; I’m just saying that it’s nice when gifts of your favorite things show up unexpectedly. It made me feel like I’m special and not just another paying client to that supplier.
No matter how big or small the company, clients like to know that their relationships are mutually beneficial.
I plan to continue to show appreciation to my clients by being innovative, listening, and sharing my appreciation in word and deed. I hope that my appreciation and gratitude for these relationships are felt.