New research has found that one of the easiest ways and most effective ways that businesses can build long-term relationships with customers and drive sales in the process is to show gratitude towards them.
Researchers at Auburn University and Texas University looked at what happens when salespeople express gratitude for their customer’s business. They found that not only did this result in an increase in share of wallet, it also saw greater customer loyalty to the company over the long-term and a rise in word of mouth referrals.
This is PR in action – the ability to get people talking about your business to the right people, in the right way and at the right time. If you visit your local supermarket and the check-out clerk barely registers your presence and coldly processes your transactions, you aren’t likely to report having a positive buyer experience. Nor are you likely to tell recommend said store to your friends.
Third-party endorsement is earned – it is the result of every touch point by which your customers engage with you and ensuring that the experience meets and ideally exceeds their expectations. Just visit any Apple store in the land and you’ll see at first-hand how great customer service can boost one’s perception of that brand – even if the company wasn’t able to solve your problem.
So, think of how you interact with your customers – is your website engaging and easy to navigate or is it confusing and likely to frustrate visitors? Do you actively thank your customers each time a transaction is made? Even when you send your invoice to them, is there a ‘Thank you for your business, is there anything else we can help you with?’ note at the end of the email?
Demonstrating gratitude is morally the right thing to do and it makes good business sense, too. Get it right, and you may soon find that new business leads starts coming to you rather than you having to chase them all the time.