Do you say ‘thank you’ to your customers? If so, how often? If not, have you considered the power of appreciation? Whether it’s something you’ve already started doing, or you really don’t know why you should, it’s well worth thinking about the long-term and short-term benefits of thanking the people who ultimately keep your brand going.

Give thanks - receive so much more

No matter if they’re end consumers or businesses, your customers have helped lift your brand to where it is today. So, first and foremost, it’s just a nice thing to do – it’ll make your customers feel valued for investing in your brand, and because gratitude accounts for 40% of a person’s happiness, it’ll make you feel good too.

Beyond simple gratitude, giving thanks will help deepen the relationship between you and your customers. About 68% of customers leave a brand because they believe the business doesn’t care about them1. But a ‘thank you’ shows you care about them as individuals and that you’re interested in your journey together. It’ll build loyalty – and it might even help stop them looking elsewhere. Moreover, increasing customer retention by as little as 2% can have the same impact as reducing expenses by 10%.

Thanking a customer gives you a reason to engage with those who haven’t interacted with you for a while – presenting an opportunity to keep the conversation going with the customers who only tend to purchase occasionally or seasonally. By keeping these conversations alive, it’ll also allow you to build your brand’s personality, which is always a good thing when developing customer relationships.

With these benefits in mind, you can quickly see why integrating regular ‘thank you’s’ into your long-term CX journey would be a good idea. After all, for a really strong CX, you need to consider not just pre-purchase communications, but post-purchase care too. And it could be a key differentiator to your competitors – especially if you add another layer by ensuring your content is personalized too.

So, how can you begin to say ‘thank you’?

To truly reap the rewards of giving thanks, you need to consider your approach carefully:

  • Ensure you have the right technology in place
    It’s important to truly know your audience. You need that knowledge to not only personalize your content, but also to understand where your customers are in their journey. For example, it wouldn't be wise to thank customers in the middle of a post-purchase dispute or while an order is incomplete or delayed! For that reason alone, personalization is key.
  • Think about your tactics
    Tactics can be as simple or as complex as you like but thinking about the best places and times to communicate your message can make a big difference. For instance, would your customers appreciate a thank you note with their invoice? It could be a nice idea so long as you’re tactful – think it through and ensure it’s at the top, as opposed to hidden at the end. Or how about a personalized email? If your customers predominantly use this form of communication, they might be more receptive. Thankful emails are proven to have higher open rates and click through rates too.
    However, a postcard could be a more sincere way of grabbing their attention – especially with a personalized note from the CEO. One of the lowest-cost but highest-impact ways to prompt your customers to engage in word-of-mouth marketing about your product or service is to send a handwritten ‘thank you’ note. Finally, another tactic could be to show thanks by tying in a specific, exclusive announcement, or offering them early access to a product launch or sale – these kinds of actions speak loudly.
  • Show them you care
    Ensure your communications are special and stand out from your usual marketing content. And make sure the tone is genuine. This will give your thanks message added value and impact, ultimately helping to build the customer relationship.
  • Consider including additional content
    Along with your thank you note or offer, think about offering useful advice for a product or service purchased. Maybe it's a guide to the top attractions in the city where they’ve just booked tickets. Perhaps it’s an exclusive eBook on how to maximize uptime on the equipment they have just purchased. Just make sure the content is authentic, beneficial, and valuable to the customer.

When should you start giving thanks?

Admittedly, saying ‘thank you’ in the right way can feel complicated depending on the type of business you have and the ways you already interact with your customers. So, don’t start until you have the right technology in place for personalization and you understand where your customers are in their journey.

Before you begin, make sure you’ve established a foundation for going about things in the most considered way, and then you can build from there. Having this base in place will give you the ideal starting point to develop and deepen your customer relationships – and ultimately start differentiating yourself from your competitors.

A final thought

While saying thank you means you’ll create better customer experiences, you’ll also see an impact in your business results. Lifetime customer value can be positively influenced as well, increasing average order value and reducing customer churn.

Whatever the beneficial effect, making a commitment to say “thank you” isn’t simply a nice thing to do. If done well, it can be a significant milestone in the success of your business.

As best-selling author and behavioral researcher Dan Heath says: “You only have to excel at a few things that are going to be memorable. Those defining moments can become powerful signature moments.”

If you’re interested in learning more, why not have a look at our guide "10 tactics for optimizing the commerce experience"– and get started today. THANK YOU for reading this post!

 

Hansen Lieu is the Product Marketing Director for Commerce at Sitecore. With over 10 years of experience helping organizations gain competitive advantage with digital commerce and CRM technologies, Hansen is responsible for positioning, messaging, thought leadership, and go-to-market strategy. Follow him on Twitter @HansenTweets or find him on LinkedIn