Merci. Graci. Danke. Arigato. Grazie. However you say it, ‘thank you’ is one of the effective tools in business.
With over 60% of consumers citing ‘indifference’ as the reason they leave a brand or shop around, a simple program to reward, recognise and express gratitude could be your greatest defence against an era of increasingly fragmented consumer loyalty.
I remember many years ago when my team and I were managing the marketing for a major mortgage provider. We conducted some research with new customers to identify opportunities to improve the customer experience in the early stages of the relationship.
Overwhelmingly, the aspect of the onboarding process that new customers were most disappointed with was the fact that there was no official welcome pack. It was a key milestone that wasn’t recognised and that lack of basic recognition resulted in a lost opportunity to enhance the customer experience and set a strong foundation for long term loyalty and referrals.
We’re wired to seek acknowledgement from a very young age. Our certificates of recognition and ribbons of achievement hang proudly in our bedrooms, tangible evidence of key milestones and accomplishments in our academic and sporting endeavours.
Later in life and in business, our emotional response to recognition is no less potent. We may no longer blue-tack thank you cards and other adult forms of recognition certificates on the wall of our bedroom, but we still appreciate being appreciated.
Implementing a milestone marketing program for your existing customers could be as simple as a welcome pack or thank you at the beginning of the relationship, followed by the acknowledgement of key milestones (anniversaries, spend level, tenure or other loyalty milestone – the options are endless).
Also, if you’re not rewarding referrals, now’s the time to start. A simple thank you gift to demonstrate you appreciate a customer going out of their way to entrust a friend or family member to you and your business.
As humans we’re wired to repeat behaviour we’re rewarded for. So reward, recognise and watch your customer loyalty and referrals increase.