Saying “Thank you” is basic good manners. It’s something most of us learn is important when we’re still very young.
It also can be what sets you and your web-writing business apart from your competition and keeps your clients happily coming back again and again.
There’s a guy at my local grocery store who bags the groceries, helps shoppers out to their cars, and brings the carts in from the parking lot. What Larry does all day doesn’t require a lot of skill, and I imagine it must generally be a fairly thankless job.
But he says this to each and every customer he interacts with: “Thank you for your business.” And he says it with a smile.
Saying “Thank you” is his trademark. It sets him apart from all the other store employees. He sets the store apart from others in town.
He makes us customers feel valued and appreciated.
Are YOU being like Larry? Are you setting yourself apart from your competition and making your clients feel valued and appreciated by saying “Thank you”?
Many businesses have “Thank you for your business” or something similar printed on their receipts or invoices. I do. You may, too.
While this is a good practice, it doesn’t exactly set anybody apart… after all, with so many people doing it, it’s becoming common. And common is the opposite of special.
Remember, the goal is both to express thanks AND to distinguish yourself from the competition. So, you need to get creative. Think outside the box. Start doing what others are not.
With that in mind, here are five creative ways to say “Thank you” to your clients:
1. Send a handwritten card… in the actual mail.
Sending handwritten thank-you notes is becoming a lost art. Think about it… when was the last time YOU received one?
Developing the habit of sending old-school, physical thank-you notes will definitely set you apart from the crowd. It will make you interesting and memorable. It shows you care enough to take the time to write the card and put it in the mail.
Between you and me… it doesn’t actually have to be YOU who writes these notes! (Assuming, that is, your client won’t recognize your handwriting.) I have a client who pays her teen-aged daughter to write the thank-you notes and birthday cards she sends her customers.
It’s not about how pretty your handwriting is, or even what you say — this works because of how it makes your clients feel. Valued. Appreciated. Important.
2. Give a small gift certificate… for coffee, for example.
Giving a Starbucks gift card is easy and nearly universally appreciated, but if your client is in your same city, consider supporting a local, independent coffee or tea hangout.
I have a few local favorites, and people are super-excited to receive a gift certificate/card from them. They almost always mention they like to support local merchants but often forget about them.
Local or long-distance, your clients will appreciate the fact you cared enough to make the gesture. How many of their other vendors do so?
3. Send a tangible treat.
You may want to thank your very best clients with a more special gesture — something that makes a bigger statement of appreciation and gratitude. For example, I’ve sent flowers on our “anniversary” of working together. I’ve also sent gift baskets of yummy snacks after the completion of a big project.
I can afford to send these gifts to my best clients, because they’ve spent a lot of money with me. It’s a smart business expense with the goal of retaining these high-value clients.
But these tangible treats don’t have to cost a lot. I’ve also used Send Out Cards to send brownies (a Send Out Cards all-time favorite and bestseller) along with a custom thank-you card to new clients who haven’t yet spent a lot but who have the potential to do so.
My clients tell me receiving these gifts makes their day and makes them feel very special. It makes them feel like I see them as people, not just as numbers on the checks they send me. It builds a stronger bond and relationship between us.
4. Record and send a video message of thanks and gratitude.
Video is powerful, because it’s so personal… so real. People can see your facial expressions and hear the tone of your voice. They can see your sincerity. They see you.
I send thank-you videos regularly, and they never fail to get a positive response.
I have three ways of sending video thank-yous:
- Upload your video to YouTube and send the link via email (generally with a clickable image linked to the YouTube video URL)
- Record and send your video using BombBomb (a video email app)
- Text a short video directly from your phone
I use the YouTube link method for general thank-yous being sent to all my clients.
BONUS TIP: I also thank my referral partners this way. Those are additional relationships I want to strengthen… you probably do, too.
I use BombBomb for quick, individual video emails that are still professional and branded with my custom look and messaging.
Text videos are more casual, so I use those just with my clients who prefer text communication.
Whatever the delivery method, it’s the fact you took the time and thought to record the video that makes it so special. And, since it’s not common, it definitely will set you apart and make you memorable.
5. Host a customer appreciation lunch.
This works best for local clients, but you could also do something similar on a smaller scale if you’re traveling near where your clients are.
For example, I have an independent insurance agent client who hosts an annual customer appreciation lunch for her local clients. She reserves the patio at a local restaurant and encourages her customers to stop by and enjoy the buffet lunch at their convenience. She adds value to the event by promoting it as a chance to network with others in the area.
It’s been well-attended for several years running, and she does it to strengthen her relationships and increase customer loyalty and retention in her highly competitive market.
You can take any of these five ideas and show your clients how much you value and appreciate them. Or, maybe these ideas will jump-start your creativity and inspire you to come up with your own unique way to say “Thank you.”
Either way, it’s worth the time and effort to make your thank-you message special. Because in doing so, you’ll make your client feel important. And that’s good business.
I’d love to know what YOU do to thank your clients! Share with me and your fellow wealthy web writers by leaving a comment below.