Thank You Is Not Enough

thank-youCustomers are the single reason any company exists.  Brands are built on appealing to those customers with consistent messaging, quality products and exceptional service.  So how do companies show their appreciation for customer loyalty in a way that resonates with their audience?  It should start with a sincere “thank you”, but that’s not where it should end.

Customer appreciation comes in many forms.  A quality product that won’t break or function poorly after the first time it’s used; first-rate service that handles difficult problems with as much grace and efficiency as it takes to process a simple order; or a spot-on gift that shows a keen understanding of the audience.

Those gifts can range from fun swag, to high end executive level offerings, or contributions to a favorite charity in the name of the customer.  In any case, the gift should represent a genuine show of thanks, and a discerning grasp of what matters to the recipient.

There’s no right or wrong way to show appreciation for your customers — as long as they see and value the gesture.  Thank you is where it starts.  Year-long attention to quality products and extraordinary service is how it should carry forward.

 

 

Time For Action In The Second Half

Time for action. Stopwatch on white background. Isolated 3D image“How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.”  Lou Holtz 
Second quarter results are in – it’s time to look at the data and analyze how you make the most of the remainder of the year.  Whether the results met expectations, or fell short of the goals you started the year with, the second half of the year is the perfect time to “re-boot” your corporate energy and reenergize your brand visibility.
However, expanding your brand differentiation as your customers are heading into the third and fourth quarter frenzy can be challenging.   Employees are returning from summer vacations and already looking forward to the fall and winter holiday breaks; sales teams are reviewing their quotas and working harder to meet their goals; the finance department is concentrating on reducing spending and improving profits; and, through all of this, your objective is to somehow break through the noise in order for your brand message to be heard.  To help with that task, consider the following tips.
  • Donate time to community non-profit events:  As Aristotle said, we are what we do.  Volunteering in the community will set your company apart and position you in a different light.
  • Actively solicit customer feedback:  Knowing how your company has scored with customers in the first half of the year will help you map out a strategy for building on the positive and improving on the negative.
  • Optimize your social media channels:  Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram – these platforms all have their advantages, but if you don’t have the company resources to stay current on all of them, it’s best to narrow them down.  Expanding your brand presence on two or three social media channels is better than being nearly invisible on all of them.
  • Plan now for end-of-year customer appreciation gift – but send it at Thanksgiving:  Better to beat the end-of-year gift clutter, and express your thanks when it will stand out.  And don’t settle for another cookie tower that will be placed on the pile of holiday food that has already arrived.  Look for the newest, up-to-date promotional merchandise options and demonstrate your understanding that customers aren’t just corporate buyers, they’re people who know a well-considered gift when they see it!

Your company is in the second half and racing towards a great finish – it’s time for action!