Saturday, May 19, 2007

TSF on Thank You's continued

Subject: The power of a thank you…

We have talked in the past about how important it is to write personal hand written thank you notes to customers, hostesses, and recruit prospects (even if they don't join you in the business!)
Yesterday, I got my hair cut. My hairdresser is one of the three owners of the salon that I go to. I have been a regular, every eight week customer, for about three years now. In the past year, I have personally been responsible for sending six new regular clients to him. He said thank you, (after I asked if he'd met my neighbor) - but that was all. That is why I found our conversation yesterday a little ironic. He was expressing frustration because their customer base has not grown much lately. He has tried a variety of tactics including networking, advertising and contests amongst his employees.

I asked him if he'd ever considered rewarding customers for referrals. He said, yes, that customer referrals get a $20 gift certificate - hmmm interesting. I asked him what kind of a system he had in place to make this happen (the salon is large over 80 employees). He said he just tries to remember when a new customer mentions that they were a referral from someone else. He told me if he'd ever forgotten to thank me `properly' all I needed to do was remind him.

“Well, I replied, now that you mention it…” and I proceeded to remind him of the six recent (and now `regular') customers that I'd sent his way. I said to him very sincerely, I'm not telling you this to get a gift certificate - a simple note thanking me would have been fine at the time the new customers came to him. However, yesterday he gave me a $20 discount on my haircut.

Needless to say, at this point - the whole situation was awkward and got even more uncomfortable when he mumbled something about me guilting him into my gift certificate as he wrote up my sales slip for the cashier…(kidding of course).

So, what can we learn from this scenario.
A hand written thank you note is cheaper than a $20 gift certificate and can be just as meaningful.

A thank you (whether a gift certificate or a note) needs to be prompt and sincere.
Have a system in place for thanking your customers and use the system.

I like my stylist. I like his salon. If I didn't, I wouldn't refer people there - and - I will continue to do so. However, I must say, this whole situation has been a big reminder to me that I need to do my best to always let people know, in writing, how much I appreciate their business and the business they send my way.


tracy90245 said...

Great post! Did you get an email from Avis called "the bagger" it was awesome- about leaving a lasting positive impression on our customers no matter how small and how it could make a business grow.

UB Queen Bee said...

Yes I absolutely loved that! Angie posted the link on WAHM a couple of days ago and I commented there that it had brung me to tears! Very incredible story that we can ALL take into our lives!