No matter what line of business you're in, clients want to know your company appreciates their patronage. A simple "Thank you" is an inexpensive way for a business to express gratitude to its customers. It can go a long way with a client and can lead to future sales, referrals and long-term business relationships. Thanking clients for their business shows that your company values a client not only before the sale, but after the sale, too.
Tell the client, "Thank you," and say it with feeling. Make your verbal "thank you" personal by addressing the client by name and specifically mentioning what you are thanking him for.
Write a personal thank you note. This can include writing "Thank you" on an invoice or receipt, or sending a personal, handwritten thank you card after a purchase or service. Address the note to the individual client, rather than the client's organizationk, and mention the purchase your client made in the note.
Offer discounts for frequent customers by providing a coupon for use on their next purchase. Or, create an incentive program, offering customers a discounted item or free gift after a certain amount of purchases, such as "Purchase five widgets and receive the sixth one free." Coupons and punch-card programs encourage loyalty and provides an incentive for the customer to make her next purchase at your business.
Send a gift as a token of your appreciation. A gift can include an item with your company's company logo, a food basket, stationary and calendars. Using your company's insignia on an item can double as a thank you gift and as a marketing token for your business.
Mail holiday thank you cards to frequent customers during the winter holidays. The holiday cards should be non-denominational and with a generic winter holiday theme, as not to offend anyone's religious beliefs. A simple, handwritten "Thank you for your business" note inside the card will suffice.
Even if you didn't get a client's business, send a short note thanking him for considering your business. This shows professionalism and can keep your company's name in mind, should a need for your services or products arise.
Sending a thank you note via email can be effective, though it does not have the same impact on the client as a handwritten note.
Sending food as a gift gets noticed not only by the client, but the client's colleagues as well. Colleagues will ask who sent the cookie basket and your company's name gets mentioned every time.
Don't try to promote new products when thanking a client. Including a business card in your note is fine, but many clients view a sales pitch in a thank you note as poor etiquette.
Know your company's gift-giving policy. Many companies regulate the amount you can spend on a client gift and have guidelines on the types of gifts you can send.
- "Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service"; Performance Research Associates; 2007
- "When the Little Things Count...and They Always Count"; Barbara Patcher; 2001
- Just Sell: Sales Thanks: How to Say Thank You
- Directory Journal: Business Journal: 5 Ways to Thank Your Customers
- thank image by Mykola Velychko from Fotolia.com