How do you communicate with your customers?
Do you send thank you cards to your clients?
Did you know that not saying thank you to a customer hurts your business more than saying thank you helps.
Let me say that again.
Not saying thank you hurts your business more than saying thank you helps.
What I mean by that is our customers and clients expect to receive a thank you; especially if they spend a lot of money with us. They expect us to at least acknowledge and thank them.
If I buy a house, I expect a thank you.
If I buy a car, I expect a thank you.
If I buy a Snickers I don't necessarily expect a thank you.
Big ticket items = increased expectations
If you don't send thank you cards to your clients, do you know what they are thinking?
They are thinking you don't care about them!
Studies show the reason why we lose 68% of our clients and customers is because they don't think we care about them.
Here is a simple solution I found to let my customers know I care about them.
For $5.48 a year I can send 4 custom greeting cards to my clients to keep in touch with them and let them know I appreciate them.
How much is one dedicated, loyal, and happy client worth to you? Is it worth $5.48 a year?
If so watch this 3 minute video for more information:
Once you watch the video, email me back and I'll be happy to help you get started.
WHAT is the value of appreciation? Lee Cummins believes a simple “Thinking About You” or “Thank you for Your Business” could lead to anything from a smile to increased profitability.
Cummins, is a local Snr Manager, representing the US based online greeting card company, SendOutCards
Unlike other online card companies, which allows users to send an internet link to a personalised card on the internet, SendOutCards users get to personalise one of the 17,000 card options or even create their own cards using their personal photos, which is then mailed to the recipient, anywhere in the world.
Once a user logs on to SendOutCards subscribes to the service, they can create their own secured account where they can store information like names, addresses, birthdays, anniversary dates or reminders along with photos to send appreciation messages.
Users receive emails to get their cards out in time for these occasions. There is also an option to send gifts or gift cards, which can be selected from options on the website, along with the card.
The card is printed within 24 hours after the user completes their order. Cards of the highest quality standards and printed on recycled paper. Mailing time differs according to the postal service within the country in which the recipient lives.
Receiving an emailed link to an on-line e-card does not compare to going to the mailbox and seeing a card among all the bills and windowed envelopes or whatever else is mailed. Another benefit of SendOutCards, is it is more convenient than heading to a store to purchase cards, lining up at the post office or worse, not remembering to post the card.
SendOutCards makes it hassle free. You can access it at any time from a computer with internet access, no matter where you are. You could choose from the wide selection of cards or make your own. The cost of the card is cheaper than most of the options available at card shops.
The service is utilised in the United States, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, UK and Singapore by businessmen, businesswomen and companies, including real estate agents, dentists, doctors, mortgage companies and other businesses which rely on customer- based earnings.
People feel underappreciated. 68% of customers move away from a business due to percieved indifference.
This is a simple tool to show appreciation. It is inexpensive and time saving. A lot of companies take business from people and do not say thank you. The experience is not personalised. This little tool could help many expand their business.
SendOutCards has also been used to teach school aged children appreciation and can be used as a fund raising initiative.
To raise funds, organisations such as schools or churches, can become distributors themselves and encourage parents or members to take out subscriptions to the service.
Therefore every time they send a cards or gifts from the website, the organisation will receive the profits from these sales and raise much needed funds.
Have you missed an opportunity? Recently I did and big time to! I was busy preparing for a client meeting when the phone rang. I was on a tight schedule and pushing to get myself out the door so as not to be late. Just as I was about to leave the phone rang and I quickly picked it up to find a journalist on the other end of the phone wanting me to comment on a pertinent topic of the day. I was so pushed for time my reply simply was “I am sorry, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on this subject at this point in time”. End of conversation!
Uuugh! I still play this conversation out in my mind. This was a perfect opportunity for me to gain more exposure for my business, build credibility and build a relationship with the journalist.
What’s done is done, I can’t change what happened. From this there has been a truly big learning for me – keep your eye out for opportunity and have a plan for when it rises, you never know when it will happen.
Now I have a plan in place, I have created a plan of action should this situation arise again. I thought through what I could have done better, what I could have said and how I could have filled both obligations on the day.
I know this sounds really basic stuff, however, you would be surprised at how many times we can let opportunities slip through our fingers because we don’t have a plan, we don’t think things through logically and we don’t act! Having a strategic plan in place and most importantly putting some action to the plan can help to build on those opportunities.
For me now, I visualize the phone ringing and the journalist is on the other end giving me a second chance to prove my value.
Have you let an opportunity pass you by because you weren’t prepared for action?
Just recently hubby and I went on a fabulous touring holiday through the NSW South Coast in our campervan. We ended up in Bateman’s Bay at a caravan park just over the bridge. This caravan park had been recommended to us by a couple we met whilst staying in Merimbula. When we arrived we found we had a little problem that was going to take some days to sought out. This little problem meant that the accommodation we had booked was no longer suitable and we needed to change the accommodation style for 5 days. The staff there, particularly the receptionist, were amazing and were absolutely wonderful to us.
Now, this is where I saw the power of word of mouth marketing in action. We had been recommended to stay at this park from another couple. Normally we probably wouldn’t have even given it a thought. As they spoke so highly of the amenities, location and the staff we decided to go with their recommendation. This was a ‘sale’ due to word of mouth. Whilst staying in Bateman’s Bay we toured around several surrounding townships and as travelers do, you start chatting to others. Each time we were asked where we were staying we mentioned the place and how fabulous the staff had been. A couple we spoke to decided they also would give the ‘park a go’.
Now the recommendation from the first couple to us sparked a sale. Our recommendation to the next couple sparked a sale and so you can see how the ball will roll. The power of word of mouth marketing should never be underestimated. Give great service, be pleasant to deal with and be priced at market expectation and you will see the power of word of mouth. The same applies for negative word of mouth marketing, give bad service, be grumpy and price yourself out of the market and you could see the power of word of mouth marketing from a totally different angle.
Word Of Mouth Marketing – it costs you and your business absolutely nothing, not one cent but the benefits could be amazing! Sometimes, this marketing strategy can be lost in the hype of more exciting marketing strategies, it’s worth doing an analysis of your business to see which angle you would see the impact of word of mouth marketing.
Do you have a story to share?
Wow, what a bold statement. Sometimes you get great service, sometimes ok service and rarely super, fabulous, awesome service. Occasionally you can feel like it is a privelege to be served by the service provider in some establishments.
Well, last weekend, hubby and I headed into Melbourne for a weekend just the two of us. We stayed at a particularly grand hotel at the top of town in Spring Street. I am so in love with this hotel, just this morning I mentioned my wake should be there if anything should happen to me.
From the moment you pull up outside in your car to the moment your weekend draws to a close the service is absolutely awesome. You are made to feel like you are the only people in the hotel for the weekend, nothing is too much trouble.
Once we checked into the hotel we preceded down to the wonderful walkways and arcades that Melbourne is so famous for. We decided lunch was in order and plonked ourselves down in a little laneway cafe. The service there was just fabulous. The waitress came back to make sure everything was in order, we were happy with the food, did we need another cup of coffee. The waitress returned several times and was unobtrusive, not pushy or 'selling', just very helpful and polite. In fact the whole weekend we encountered the most super, fabulous, awesome service where ever we went.
The art of fabulous customer service is not a dying practise, it is alive and well. Everywhere we went from small family run restaurants in China Town, large national department stores and laneway cafes and bars we encountered amazing service. Even the horse drawn carriage ride around the city on Saturday night, the driver was keen to oblige and take our photos for us on the carriage, even if there was a small queue of eager customers behind us.
This got me thinking, do we get back what we project? If we are a happy friendly customer do we automatically receive a happy friendly service?
Just recently on my free webinar series the end comments went something like this... customers and clients only remember two types of service, really super, fabulous, awesome service or really stinky service. Nobody remembers the mediocre service from a provider.
Of all the establishments we visited over the weekend, I have already told friends and family, recommended places and gave a big thumbs up on the services and places we ventured. The power of word of mouth marketing!
Guess what? It hasn't cost any of these businesses one cent!
My husband has a great saying 'failing to prepare is preparing to fail'. I love this saying because it is so true.
The one place I don't 'wing' it, is when I am on air on my radio program. I have on occasions and after listening to the replay I can certainly hear the differene in my shows. I always make sure I prepare ahead of time. I even prepare for little unexpected surprises.
If you are going to be interviewed on radio, TV or for a print article then I can not stipulate the importance of being prepared. It is imperative to be able to determine the preparation you will need to undertake to be able to execute professionalism and show your business and you in the best possible light.
I think the most important point to consider is confirming the date, time and the location of the interview.
I remember recently I had a guest planned for my radio program. The program runs from 9.00 am to 11.00am every Monday morning. My guest was scheduled in the studio to be interviewed directly after the 9.00 am news. At 9.30am when I could leave the panel and make a call I finally got through to her. For some reason she thought it was after the 11.00am news. Now my show doesn't go to air in that time slot, I don't know what went wrong at the guests end.
We agreed that she could make it and be interviewed after the 10.00am news. (I did 'wing' it for about 30 minutes I must admit). Anxiously I waited and finally my guest arrived at 10.47am. Now do you think I was happy? Uh huh, no way! I had promoted the guest, her business and how thrilled I was to have her on the show for the last few weeks.
Forgetting how frustrating it was for me, what did this person's clients think? What were the audience thinking? Did this instill a level of trust and confidence? I think not.
The morale of this story is..............failing to prepare is preparing to fail.......... If this is your big chance to promote you and your business do everything in your power to get it right, the first time as there may not be a next time.
By the way, the guest had a 10 minute quick interview and I have never invited her back on the show. What a fabulous opportunity her and her business missed, through failing to prepare.
I would love to hear your comments where you have failed to prepare but you have been able to recover with a great outcome.
According to NeilsonWire the top Social Media websites in Australia for 2009 are Facebook with a 75% following, YouTube with a 70% following and Wikipedia with 65%. MySpace had a 48% following and Twitter just 35%. Don't let the 35% figure of Twitter fool you as the application has grown by 400% according to the latest report on the NeilsonWire Website. 38% of users also interacted with a brand using social media.
Looking at these figures to me it really indicates that small to medium enterprises need to embrace the social media avenues to stay in touch with their clients, customers and strategically aligned businesses.
I know for myself I have had some extremely positive results using social media for business. I have been fortunate enough to have some fabulous networking opportunities come my way which would not have happened with tradional marketing of my business. I have also had interaction with other businesses that has lead me to be invited to be a guest presenter. These opportunities were only possible through my business being seen and being at the right place at the right time, by the right person. Six - eight months ago my business would not have been at the right place, at the right time and seen by the right person, I just wasn't there. Besides my website and a few on-line directories my on-line presence was limited.
With social media sites growing in Australia Mr and Mrs Small to Medium Business Owner need to ask themselves the key question........... Are you media ready for Social and Tradional Media?
Mastering Media With Clarity - 21st April 2010 (See Events Page)