Where Is The (Customer) Love?

20120214-204110.jpgYesterday was Valentines Day. If you’re among the 62% of adults who celebrated the holiday, good for you. I looked up a few statistics regarding the holiday and found that here in the United States, we spent about $448 million on candy, bought 58 million pounds of chocolate, and mailed 150 million cards.

Although commonly associated with love and romance, Valentine’s Day has evolved into much more. My oldest son, a high school Junior, spent the day delivery gifts and singing “Val-O-Grams,” most bought by parents for their kids. My youngest headed off to school with a box of Valentines for her classmates and snacks for the class party. My wife even scored a few Valentine’s Day gifts from some of her students who wished to express their appreciation for her.

So here’s my question for you – Who got some of your love this week? Your significant other? Your kids? Your parents? Your friends?

How about your customers?

When’s the last time you told your customers how much you love them? When’s the last time you did something special for them – no strings attached? That’s right, sales pitches and discounts posing as customer appreciation don’t have quite the same impact as a stand-alone “Thank You.”

When customers feel appreciated, they become more than satisfied, they become loyal. They become advocates. They stick around longer. They buy more. They refer their friends and family to you.

But they have to sense that the love you’re giving them is sincere. The best gifts are those offered without condition or expectation of something in return. And they don’t have to cost you much, if anything.

~ Mail a hand-written note to the customer you just spoke with. Tell them how nice it was to meet them.

~ Send a card to a customer on the anniversary of their first order with you. Thank them for their continued business.

~ Cut out a press clipping about a customer, or better yet – one of their kids, and send it to them along with your congratulations.

~ Shoot off an email to a customer – just because. Tell them you were thinking about them and hope they are doing well.

~ Copy an article about a customer’s business or hobby and send it to them.

~ Buy a book related to their business and send it to them with a personal note written on the inside cover.

There are thousands of ways to show your customers some love. Implement one of these ideas each week and see how much of that love comes back.

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