Making Your Customers Feel Special Pays Off

Last week, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) marketing whiz Marka gave savvy salesperson Zoot some tips on assessing his sales team as the year draws to a close. This week, Marka tells Zoot how to show customers they’re appreciated. Remember, fire = print.

Marka arrived in Zoot’s office and found him waist deep in paperwork—literally. “This all fell off my desk,” Zoot said sheepishly.

“Boy, you look busy. Most of all, you look like you need a new filing system,” Marka observed.

“You said it. I can barely keep my head above water,” Zoot agreed. “I’m concerned that in my rush to get everything done, I’m neglecting the little things that make customers feel special.”

“That’s a problem,” Marka said. “Let me make it easy for you. Here are some tips to make customers feel appreciated.” [She then began writing on the whiteboard that stood in the corner of Zoot’s office.]

• Follow up key projects with a phone call.

“More and more communication is taking place over O-mail, O-texts and the like,” Marka noted. “When we do talk to customers on the O-phone, most of the time it’s just to exchange specific project details and similar information. Imagine our customers’ pleasant surprise when they receive a call from you asking simply, ‘How did we do?’”

“Make this type of follow-up call a regular part of your routine for new and existing customers,” Marka continued. “It serves as a gesture of thanks, and an opportunity to get honest, useful feedback when the job experience is still fresh in a customer’s mind.” [She then wrote more on the whiteboard.]

• Send handwritten “Thank You!” notes.

“Keep a stack of thank-you cards at the ready,” Marka suggested. “Any time you or FEI receives a referral, a big project, kudos from a customer or anything notable, grab a card and jot down a quick note—handwritten and signed, of course. Spending a few minutes to create this personal touch will do wonders for FEI’s image in our customers’ eyes.” [Marka then scribbled some more on the whiteboard.]

• Host a customer-appreciation workshop.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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