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Ways to Show You Appreciate Your Customers

7650804342_9715bb425fYour business successes are the result of your own hard work, to be sure. But, you could not have built your business without the support of your customers.

Suppose you are already doing your part in your day-to-day business interactions with customers. You give them excellent service by proving that you are willing to make time for them. They feel important, knowing that you value their business. A customer who feels overlooked, rushed or senses that you would rather be doing something other than helping them is not likely to be among your loyal return customers. So, you treat all of your customers with respect, giving them the personal attention they need while they purchase your product or service.

However, your responsibility to your customers does not end with the completion of a business transaction. All individuals enjoy having their contributions acknowledged, and they will favor those who express awareness of their efforts. Recognizing how someone has supported your business and showing them that you appreciate them is crucial to your continued success. With the holidays fast approaching, your company has the opportunity to make a lasting, positive impression on your customers.

Here are a few simple ways to show your customers that you care about them:

  1. Give away materials with your company logo on them. Customers always love receiving free items. Order selections of small promotional materials such as pens, calendars and notepads. These materials are often inexpensive and will help to build your customers’ loyalty to you. You will also benefit from the added visibility to new potential customers.
  2. Send personalized holiday cards to your customers. Several companies offer attractive and professional designs that tell your customers you appreciate them. Sign the cards, or better yet, write a small note expressing your gratitude for their business. Customers will recognize the effort you put into mailing them the card, and they will be pleased that their loyalty is noticed and appreciated.

Do not limit your appreciations to the holidays. You may also want to send a card on other occasions to show your customers that they truly are important to you.

  1.  Offer special discounts to your customers. Sending a coupon or promotion along with a short note telling them you are grateful for their business is a great way to acknowledge your customers while simultaneously giving them an incentive to return.
  2.   Following up with your customers by sending them a personalized letter or e-mail after a transaction is complete is the best time to show your appreciation. Your customer will see no underlying motive for the letter other than you want to show your appreciation to them. A simple note or acknowledgement of their contribution to your business will certainly catch their attention and set you apart from other, more impersonal businesses.
  3. If you have the time or resources and it makes financial sense based on the dollar amount of products or services you offer, a brief “thank-you” phone call to your customers is very effective, especially directly following a transaction. The world of business has become very impersonal in many ways, so a human voice, even if heard merely in a voicemail or answering machine is very effective. In fact, some very successful companies hire customer service reps who have the single task of following up and thanking their customers. They also use this time to briefly survey each customer to find out how the company can improve.

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. You must first earn their support by providing great initial service. But, do not make the mistake of passing by the chance to tell your customers that you appreciate them. Take the time to communicate with those who have supported you and reward their business with a personal note, phone call or gift. Your efforts to recognize them will be noticed, and they will be much more likely to return and recommend your business to others.

Mikkie Mills is a Chicago native and mother of two.  She occasionally blogs about DIY crafts and business. Show your customers you care through gifts by Vistaprint products.  Connect with her on Google + or on Twitter (@DollarHacks).

 

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6 Ways to Better Motivate Your Employees

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As an employer it can sometimes feel like you are fighting an uphill battle to get your employees motivated. But employees are the driving force of any company, so you will not get much done with employees who do not pull their weight. Whether you find it a struggle to motivate your employees on a daily basis, or you are simply looking for ways to increase productivity, here are some suggestions that could help you out.

Reward Programs

Nothing motivates people like a reward. Whether it is something monetary, such as a bonus or raise, or something else, such as a paid vacation, a gift basket etc. if your employees know what they will receive as a result of their work, they are more likely to work harder. Additionally, it is always motivating to know that your hard work is appreciated and will be rewarded.

Friendly Competition

Workplace competitions can get everyone excited and motivated to do better work. The most important thing to remember however, is that it should not be a competition with high stakes and a professional reward (such as a promotion). You do not want to create tension in your workplace, and damaging the atmosphere of the workplace can cause damage to overall productivity.

Mission Statements and Goals

It helps employees to know what exactly they are working for. If your company does not have a mission statement or motto, create one. This will not only help people to understand the vision of your company, but it will also give them something to work towards. Once you have a broad vision in mind, create smaller, short term goals together with your employees that can help you to fulfill the mission.

Give Them Time Off

This goes along with rewards, in that it is a way to show employees that they are appreciated. But time off is unique in that it gives people time away from work to refresh and recharge their batteries. If they get the chance to do this, they will come back to work more motivated and enthusiastic.

Get-togethers outside of Work

Another good idea is to have events outside of work that will allow people to get to know each other outside of the office. Whether it is a paid-for dinner, party, or something else, it is also a good way to reward employees for productivity. Holding such events allows people to get to know each other better, creating an all around better work environment, which often increases productivity.

Get to Know Them On a Personal Level

It is incredibly hard to motivate people that you do not even know. Likewise, it is hard for employees to motivate themselves if they only see you as a distant boss. Get to know your employees and their personalities. Everyone is different, and they will be motivated in different ways, so get to know who they are and what makes them tick. It also helps if you can give them personal praise every once in awhile.

About the Author: Robert Cordray is a freelance writer and expert in business and finances. He has received many accolades for his work in teaching employee rewards programs.

 

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