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Show your appreciation at the end of a year

December 10, 2008
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How valuable is your customer list? Do you take the time to let them know just how much you appreciate their loyalty to you?

As Christmas rolls around each year, I take the time out to send my most valuable customers a Christmas and New Year’s card. It seems a little redundant to mention this, but unfortunately many small businesses don’t bother. They take their customers for granted thinking they’ll always be around.

This is a bad move --especially during a recession. In times like this, consumers are looking for a ways to cut back or find better deals.

How to let them know you care

It’s essential that you at least let your customers know your appreciation for them choosing to spend their hard earned dollars on your service. For my best customers, I’ll often times send a small gift basket, box of cookies or even a small gift card.

Bob Berg, author of the book Endless Referrals says, “Thank You notes are one of the most powerful tools in building a huge network, both professionally and socially. People with the most impressive networks are avid note writers.”

With that said I would advocate sending cards out more often than just the occasional holiday greeting. But if you haven’t already, Christmas time is a good place to start.

Convenient online options

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time either. I never have to buy boxes of Christmas cards from the store anymore. Instead, I’ve started using an online software program called EZ Cards that allows me to simply point and click my way through sending out this year’s holiday cards.

The company has an online catalogue of over 8,000 cards to choose from, so it’s easy to find the right one; and if you don’t like the selection they have, you can create your own customized cards using digital pictures right off your desktop.

The software even uses your own handwriting font inside the card so that it actually looks written by hand. Not only have I eliminated buying boxes of holiday cards, but I’ve also eliminated stuffing envelopes (or hiring someone to do this), licking stamps and making trips to the post office.

This online tool has leveraged my time so efficiently, that I can stay in contact with my customers, not just during Christmas time, but the rest of the year as well. Legendary salesman, Joe Girard taught me the incredible value of staying in touch. You can see an article on his strategy here.

So don’t forget to say “thank you” with a simple holiday greeting. Let your customers know you care. It will go along way to building a stronger relationship that endures these tough economic times.

Jonathan Taylor is the owner of Strategic Marketing Solutions. You can reach Taylor at www.JonathanTaylorBlog.com.

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