In today’s busy world, people often forget to say “thank you”; it’s a courtesy so commonplace that it gets overlooked. According to a recent study, a simple thank you cannot only brighten someone’s day, but it can also increase your future sales as well.
Michigan State University marketing scholar Clay Voorhees, Ph.D., researched the effects of a thank you e-mail on a restaurant’s business. The e-mail was sent from the restaurant group’s president two days after the customer’s visit to the establishment. The restaurant experienced an increase in customers of over 50%, an astounding figure in an industry where even a 5% growth is worthy of celebration. These return customers even brought their friends along, increasing female party size by over 79%.
So, make sure to remind your staff to thank your patrons. Doing so will build customer relationships and share your excitement for your store, not to mention give you a new creative outlet along the way. It doesn’t take an expensive promotion or complex rewards program to show your customers that you appreciate them. Here are just a few ideas:
• Share your knowledge: Hold a customer appreciation event where shoppers can come in and learn about some of your staple products. Invite guest speakers, offer samples and watch your customers enjoy your store in a social setting. Be sure to speak with your vendors about providing free samples or product demos. Not only will your guests have a good time, but they will also have a greater understanding and appreciation of your products and will be touched that you took the time to educate them.
• Share rewards: Reward your most valued customers by offering them membership in a VIP club. They’ll receive exclusive deals that are not offered to everyone, something as simple as 5% off a purchase. Your VIPs will feel valued and will love coming back to your store. Talk to vendors about helping you can pass these discounts down from deals.
• Share business: Speak to other local businesses in the area about handing out a modest gift cards to each other’s establishments. Then, let customers earn a gift card in a raffle or contest as a way to say thanks for their business. Not only will the sentiment bring customers back to your store, but your fellow entrepreneurs will be helping promote your business, too. In addition, the gift card may bring new shoppers into your store, where they’re bound to fall in love with your offerings and spend more than the value of the card.
• Share on social media: If your company has a social media account, whether it be Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, post a personal message thanking shoppers for their business. You can even try using photos of some of your regulars, with their permission, and a special shout-out to them. Once they see it, they will be sure to share it with all of their friends. Not only will they feel special and appreciated, but their friends will also see what a great business you are running. WF
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2015