There’s a simple phrase, consisting of two words, that is guaranteed to help strengthen customer relationships, increase repeat business, and promote referrals.
This two-word phrase can be used in almost any situation and is the foundation of politeness and professionalism.
In his classic best-seller, How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale Carnegie’s second chapter is entitled: The Big Secret of Dealing With People. The secret is summed up in this principle: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
Carnegie said there is only one way to get anybody to do anything — by making the person want to do it.
How can you encourage customers to say good things about you and give you referrals?
By giving them what they and all human beings crave: honest and sincere appreciation. In order to do this, it is vital to utilize one simple phrase…
Now, you may be asking: “Well, what is it?“
The Two Magic Words
This big key to dealing with people (or customers) is often overlooked or forgotten.
It’s simply saying the phrase “thank you” consistently, personally and, above all, sincerely. These two words work marketing magic because customers want to feel cherished and important.
Saying the phrase “thank you” is an act of kindness in itself. But, don’t say “thank you” for the sake of flattery…
It must be sincere.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “You can never say anything but what you are.”
Thank You” Promotes Referrals
The uncertainty of referrals can be disconcerting.
Can you control them? No.
Can you influence them? Absolutely.
First, you must provide a valuable product or service for customers. (You’re already doing this, right?)
But perhaps you can make an even bigger difference in their minds by your continued interest after you’ve delivered the product or service.
Customer satisfaction varies from person to person and product to product. It’s all a part of dealing with people. However, even if you encounter a rather difficult customer, sincerely saying “thank you” at the end of your interaction helps to ease any damages done. And, it may convince them to end the interaction on better terms.
Sometimes, “thank you” can even “make or break” a relationship with a customer and determines whether or not you’ll get referrals.
“Thank You” as Direct Mail or E-mail
If you’ve never used direct mail and are considering it, start a “thank you” correspondence program.
If you’ve used direct mail or e-mail, but haven’t sent thank-you letters or e-mails, start now.
The “thank you” letter, or e-mail, to your customers is targeted (you know them, they know you), personal, and effective. It’s guaranteed to receive a positive response.
Furthermore, it’s a pleasant surprise if it’s snail mail.
They may see your envelope and think: “this must be something for me to review, to sign, or worse a bill!” Then they open it, and voila!
They’ll feel appreciated and important.
Write a “thank you” letter or e-mail at every opportunity. But, be careful not to spam your customers. Also, be sure not to send any “thank you(s)” with an invoice or other correspondence. Always send them separately. Another important tip is to know when you need to write more than a simple thank you.
Writing the “Thank You” Letter or E-mail
The thought behind a thank-you letter or e-mail may seem simple, but writing one can be tricky.
Here are 9 tips for writing a winning “thank you” letter or e-mail:
1. Keep it brief; a half dozen lines (or fewer) are sufficient.
2. Make it sincere. This is crucial. Don’t be too wordy and stay concise to avoid any “awkwardness”.
3. Start with “thank you” and know who you’re writing. Are they married? Are you on a first name basis?
4. Make the tone warm, but professional. Be friendly, but keep it businesslike.
5. Reinforce a positive. Jog their memory of a positive aspect of the relationship.
6. Offer your continued support. Example: “If I can help, please call…”
7. End with “thank you”. Example: “Thanks again for…”
8. Use an appropriate closing. Examples: Sincerely, Best regards, etc.
9. Don’t have an ulterior motive. Make it a pure “thank you”, otherwise, sincerity is jeopardized.
Saying the phrase “thank you” is part of building strong customer relationships over time. Use these two magic words consistently, and watch your repeat business and referrals grow.