When it comes to client loyalty, saying thank you can make a real difference. Courtesy and manners all play their part in establishing a trusting relationship and, as we have seen, genuine relationships are vital in a world where customer loyalty is increasingly rare.
We are told that manners cost nothing, but thanking clients properly does take time out of your day and we all know what a precious resource time is. However, if we think of time as currency, then remember how much time was invested in securing clients in the first place. Spending a little time to show your appreciation for a client costs you less than spending a much larger portion of your time winning over a replacement.
Spending your time is really what gives a thank you meaning in the first place, anyway. Your clients know exactly how precious time is and therefore appreciate you sacrificing some of yours in order to recognise their custom. If time had no value, a thank you would just be an empty gesture.
A simple email is an easy way to say thank you and let a client know that you appreciate their business. Given that the time invested is what gives thanks its value, it’s always worth considering going beyond the simple and easy.
Admittedly, if you want to go beyond the simple, you need to know your client. Not everyone would appreciate a hand written letter, but many would. You would have to know the likely response from clients if you were planning to invite them to a thank you function or event. Whatever method you might use to demonstrate your appreciation, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that it is a thank you.
There’s nothing wrong with thanking clients at Christmas time or when you have reached a milestone in your work together. However, much like the way in which ‘flowers for no reason’ are often the most appreciated, a stand-alone thank you, not tied to anything else can have a significant effect.
Most importantly, a thank you should be what it says on the tin. Though it may seem a good idea for a thank you email, letter, gift or event to be combined with or a prelude to a new pitch or proposal, it is unlikely to impress. The meaning is lost and people are likely to feel tricked or trapped. There’s nothing wrong with simply saying thanks.
Courtesy makes your business or organisation stand out from the crowd and goes a long way towards forging strong professional relationships which will continue to present opportunities. The potential benefits of showing a little gratitude vastly outweigh the costs to you. Thank you for reading.