Archive for November, 2010

Building Customer Loyalty with Thanks

Why wait until Christmas to thank your customers?

Have a look around your work premises. How many Christmas cards/messages did you get this year? Without looking inside them, how many can you recall the sender? Now how many did you send out?

Yes I know. I sound like Scrooge McDuck again (long time readers know I sulk at Christmas). I am not suggesting that sending messages of thanks to customers at Christmas is wrong – quite the contrary. But what I am saying is, why limit those ‘thanks’ to a time of year when you are competing with everyone else’s ‘affections’?

We all agree (don’t we) that our customers are the only reason we come to work – right? Naturally without them, the job we do would soon become obsolete. So given how much we need them and how hard we work to get them – how frequently do you let them know things like;  “We appreciate that you choose to trust us with…. Thank you!”

Depending on your industry, method of transaction and frequency of purchase etc, one or more of these random customer acknowledgments might work.

  • Send a hand written note and a small gift a week after they’ve made a purchase (gourmet tea & coffee, scratch & win, chocolate & lollies etc)
  • On customers birthdays (not hard to find out) send a gift – even (especially) if they haven’t purchased for a while
  • Discover key customer interests and send tickets/vouchers for something they love
  • Send a written (note typed) thank you card and have staff sign it
  • Out of the blue, personally deliver wine, flowers etc – and just say ‘thank you’
  • Send bulk thank you cards out at no particular calendar event
  • Every day for a month, drop into a different customer with coffees and muffins at 10am

When you are sending notes, make them personal & specific. There’s little impact made from mass produced messages

Sure; some of these efforts will take up some time and cost you a few bucks, – but is it really a cost, or just a wise and thoughtful customer loyalty investment?

Please come back in 2011 – safe, refreshed and ready for a great year.

Yours in prosperity and fun

Jeff Austin
Bunbury Business Coach

Time Management Training Story in Perth & Bunbury

Life in a Jar – A Time Management story

A well travelled Time Management story – but a good one for those who feel ‘time poor’.

A University professor stood in front of his bright students and placed a large jar on the table. He said, “This jar represents all the time you have”. He proceeded to place large rocks into the jar until they reached the brim.

Is it full?” he asked the class. An eager student in the front row enthusiastically said “yes!” The professor then took a handful of gravel and poured the small stones into the jar and they fell around the gaps between the rocks.

Now is it full?” asked the teacher. “No”, exclaimed several students who were now onto his cunning plan! The professor brought out a small bag of sand and poured it into the jar until it reached the top. “Is it full now?” he enquired. “No” said one student cautiously.

Without a word, the professor took a jug of water and poured it into the jar. The water filled the minute crevices between the sand grains. “How about now?” he asked. “Yes!” came the consensus response.

The professor questioned “What’s the moral?” One student called out. “No matter how busy you are, you can always cram more stuff in!” Another called out, “Even when your day seems full, there is always time for a drink!” (General laughter)

The wise professor said, “The large rocks represent all the important things in your life. Your health, relationships, career, business, education etcetera. The gravel, sand and water represent all the other things we fill our lives with. What would have occurred if I had filled the jar with sand and water first?” There was silence as the class absorbed the moment.

The message is; fill your life with the things that matter and those you desire – first! You will always still find time for the less important things. However, if you find that you never seem to move towards those things important goals, there’s a good chance that you are filling your life with sand gravel & water!

(learn about Bunbury & Perth time management courses here)

Yours in prosperity and fun

Jeff Austin

Bunbury Business Coach