Why You Should Always Be Thanking Customers
There are certain times of year where people make a conscious effort to think about what they’re thankful for. Thanksgiving is the most obvious, and is a time where many of us sit and reflect on what we are thankful for. Most will be thankful for their family, good health, and of course great food. However as a blogger there is one thing that I am thankful for above all else, and that is you the readers!
Whether we’re preparing for Thanksgiving or not, we should also be preparing to start thanking customers (or in my case, readers). After all, without them an ecommerce site is, well, just a site!
Reasons To Be Thanking Customers
Even though I’m sure you all know that you should be thanking customers all the time and not just at Thanksgiving, you may not know the stats that go along with it. Before looking at the reasons for thanking, I would like to start with a customer experience quote that comes from a rather unlikely source:
There are many ways this quote can be interpreted, but here is my take on it: it means that we can sometimes forget how easy it is to make someone’s day. A simple thank you can have a lasting and meaningful impact on a customer, and become an impact they won’t soon forget.
So what’s the impact of thanking customers in the world of ecommerce?
1. Your Customers Want to Feel Valued
No one likes to feel like they are in a one-way relationship – the kind where you are always giving yet are never receiving. The same is true in commerce. Customers want to feel like there is a two-way relationship with a company.
Today’s customer needs to feel valued or they will take their business elsewhere. Incredibly, only 9% of customers leave because of what a competitor is offering while 68% of businesses have lost a customer because they feel a company is indifferent to them. This makes it clear that your customers expect a little gratitude in return for their business.
The easiest way to make a customer feel valued and part of a two way relationship is to continually thank them for their business and loyalty. You will be glad you did, and you may even create a couple of brand advocates in the process!
2. It Has Financial Benefits
Thanking customers to help them feel valued should be enough to motivate most of you but in case it isn’t, gratitude also has some financial benefits.
Studies have shown that 38% of customers attribute a good customer experience to personalization, which means that a good customer experience will lead to increased profitability. In fact, 86% of American shoppers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
If we put those two points together, we can see that customers value personalization. This personalization then leads to a better customer experience, and customers are willing to pay more for that experience. In other words: if you want to increase profitability, start getting personal and thank your customers today!
How To Start Thanking Customers
There are an infinite amount of ways to thank your customers, so it’s important to find a way that makes sense for your business, your brand, and above all the customer. Here are 5 simple ways that you can thank your customers.
1. Ship a Thank You Note with an Order
This is an easy one to start implementing, and can take any number of forms. Whether you thank your customers through social or with a hand-written note in the customer’s order, you can brighten their day by acknowledging their business.
This will also help set your business apart because most packages are only shipped with the product and an invoice. You will be surprised with the reaction you will get turning a simple order into an exchange among friends.
2. Offer Customers Additional Learning/Education
This is a great way to thank your customers because it can also act as marketing material for SEO purposes. Provide customers with a learning centre or knowledge base where they can increase their knowledge. A fantastic example of this is Bare Biology, who offers customers access to an online magazine that discusses everything from health, to fitness, to beauty.
Although this will look different depending on what your business does, here are a couple of ideas that you could repurpose for your store. If you are a fashion retailer, try having a style guide that your customers can look at. If you are a pet supplies company, show some tips to keep your customer’s best friend happy, and if you’re in the food and beverage industry, why not provide customers with ways to prepare your products? These considerations continue to create value for your customers and improve your customer experience
3. Think in Ones, Not Groups
As I have mentioned earlier, customers love personalization! Think of your customers as individuals and not as part of a larger group. This could mean addressing them by name, or thanking them for another year of business each year on their birthday. When you look at each customer as an individual you can begin to say thank you on a deeper and more meaningful level.
4. Send a Handwritten Letter
This example is from Jimyz Automotive. This customer experience went viral on Reddit immediately after it was posted, with Reddit users commenting that they knew the business and loved Jim, too!
This example was also included in Help Scout’s “10 Stories of Unforgettable Customer Service” guide. Each of these 10 stories can give you further examples of how you can wow your customers and make your brand their number one choice!
A note written by hand shows a customer that you have taken the time to address them personally. This goes a long way in a world that has become obsessed with automation, and will help you further distinguish yourself from your competition.
5. Throw a Thank You Event
This is the most difficult-to-implement suggestion on this list, mostly because it is difficult to get your customers in one place. This is especially difficult for online retailers as your customers are all over the world. But don’t worry, we’re not asking you to host an expensive event and fly everyone in! You can thank your customers on a much smaller scale without diminishing its impact.
Two great ways to do this is by inviting customers to attend a webinar or a podcast. You can even invite a celebrity or influencer to address all of your customers at once. An example would be if you sold Rubiks cubes, you could invite the world record holder to give tips and tricks to your customers. This is a great way to minimize expenses while still delivering an above-and-beyond experience. You may only have to pay for one person to get to your store, but the happiness this type of event brings your customers is priceless!
A Personal Thank You Story
Now that you have seen some ways of thanking customers, I will share an example of a business showing me thanks!
My example comes from a bank, of all places. I went into the bank to convert some money for my upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic. The teller was bubbly and asked me why I needed the currency converted. I told her that my girlfriend and I had been dating for 5 years years and were going on a trip to celebrate. She was almost as happy as I was to be going on vacation!
When I returned from my trip I had a hand-written card in my mailbox (which was odd). I opened it up and it was a postcard from the bank saying.
This personalized thank you blew me away! It left me feeling valued and important and guaranteed that I will continue to use ScotiaBank from now on.
If this small gesture can guarantee my customer loyalty, imagine what a combination of thank you gestures can do for your customer base!
Thanking customers is a step towards a total customer retention strategy.
About the author: Alex McEachern is a Customer Loyalty Specialist and author on the Sweet Tooth Blog. He blogs frequently on the ecommerce industry, customer retention, and consumer loyalty.
Add her on Twitter – @alexmcea