While everyone scrambles to find Secret Santa presents, the business owner also wonders how much to give, to whom, and how much it will all cost. And what kind of gift would clients want anyway? It makes me think of a kind of funny gift I sometimes give. It’s small, and even a bit odd, but it’s personal and meaningful and that’s why I do it.
Oftentimes while reading a magazine or newspaper, I’ll think of someone who could benefit from reading a particular article, or buying a particular product advertised. This is where it gets a little… analogue. I then tear out the page (don’t worry, they’re my own magazines – I’m not doing this at the magazine stand). Then I attach a hand written sticky note saying, “I saw this, and thought of you.” And I mail it to them. Yes, with the whole envelope and stamp deal. It’s old school, but who doesn’t love getting personal mail? People have expressed appreciation for the thoughtful notes.
This is not part of my repertoire for value-added services. It’s a quirky thing I do with friends and family, not as part of my business altough whenever I have seen a news article featuring a past client (or a friend for that matter), I laminate it and mail it to them with a congratulatory hand written letter. Obviously I am not suggesting you implement this as a gift idea for your business. The point is this: small acts of thoughtfulness throughout the year carry more meaning than the one-shot gift at the nationally prescribed time.
There are a hundred + different ways a business owner can create that value for their clients throughout the year. For me, some of those ways include 12 years of phone calls, a client-specific personalized wall calendar or good old honesty even if it costs me a sale. One special touch I offer clients is my exclusive list of discounts for various retailers.
Customer appreciation can look like a lot of things. It need not be a grand gesture though or an expensive gift, just regognizing that special article or their achievement and the old fashioned hand written note sent via postal delivery. Much of the time what clients want and value are the small, thoughtful acts of kindness we can offer.
As a business owner, what is one way you show appreciation for your clients?
As a consumer, how do you feel when someone you do business with keeps in personal touch with you?