The two most powerful words
Frequent flyers know that travel sometimes can be inconvenient. Delays, cancellations, crowded airports and planes can all add up to stress.
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
Delta is the airline I fly generally, and they do several things that make their passengers feel special and appreciated. If you are a “Medallion Status” flyer, they always make a point of greeting you by name when you check in and thank you for your Medallion status, whatever your level happens to be. When you leave the airplane, not only is there a flight attendant with a big smile, but the captain stands in the doorway of the cockpit and says, “Thank you for flying with us today.” There may be more than 200 people on the plane and each one receives a personal thank-you from the captain. How cool is that?
Two simple words that are easy to say. But they convey a powerful meaning and the recipient always feels good hearing them. In my experience, these words are the two most powerful words you can use: “Thank you.”
Are you willing to try an experiment? Next week pick 10-20 of your customers, and pick up the phone or go see them. No email. The purpose of the call or visit is to say, “Thank you. I really appreciate your business.” For extra credit you could recognize their “status” with your company. “Thank you for being an annual contract advertiser with us for the last 5 years. We really appreciate your business and the opportunity to help your business grow.”
No sales pitch. No package. Not even an information-gathering Customer Needs Analysis. A simple “Thank you.”
It would be great if you would send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the results of your appreciation experiment. My prediction, based on past experience, is that you will brighten the day of everyone you call. That alone should be a reason to do it. Beyond that, you will set yourself apart as the person with whom they do business who actually says “thank you” and appreciates their business. I'm also going to predict that between 25% and 50% of them will say something like, “I’m so glad you called; I was just thinking we need to….” Those calls will likely result in increased business.
It’s great to get in the habit of thanking your customers because, unfortunately, the norm is that we get so busy we take them for granted. In addition to regular phone calls, I find the “thank you” card, written personally, works well. I save the ones I get. Don’t you?
Right now, I’m on my flight back home and I’m writing out a stack of thank you cards to the people with whom I had personal contact who did something with and/or for the RAB this past week.
I look forward to hearing about your own appreciation experiment soon.
Thank you for reading!
Jeff Schmidt is SVP of Professional Development for the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach him at email@example.com or 972-753-6765. Other ways to connect: Twitter: @JeffreyASchmidt or LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/schmidtjeffrey.