Always include these two words with every customer contact you have.
I buy a lot of products through the post and over the Internet – mostly; information products, tools, software and other related items I need to help me run my own business. For the most part, these purchases are made from small companies – home based businesses or ‘kitchen table’ operations that sell the specialised products I need. Occasionally I also buy from the big outfits too.
During my initial enquiries and immediately following an actual purchases from these companies, I’ve noticed something that almost always separates the successful companies – those most likely to get my future business, and the unsuccessful ones – the ones I’ll never order from again.
That something? The use of the words thank you. The most important two words in marketing, maybe.
Last week, I received 6 different products I purchased over the Internet. Of those six products, only two included ‘thank you’ letters attached to the product. The four other products included nothing. Two of the sellers thanked me for my order, told me if I had problems how to contact them, and included a special discount for the next product I ordered from their company. And attached to both thank you letters was a list of other products the companies offered. Compare that to the products without thank you letters. Not only did the sellers fail to thank me for my purchase, they didn’t bother to provide information about how to purchase additional products from them – or even tell me if they had other products!
So basically, the companies that included thank you letters have a pretty good chance of getting my repeat business – whereas the companies that didn’t include thank you letters have zero chance (they didn’t provide contact info, product info, support info, product catalogue etc.). It really doesn’t cost much to add a thank you letter to a product when you deliver it. And the benefits in back-end sales and repeat customers can be substantial.
Even before the sale
You don’t have to wait until after the sale to thank the potential customer for considering doing business with you. In my opinion, you should thank the customer each time they contact you – just as a matter of professional courtesy. For example, for every email you receive about one of your products, your reply email could have the following on the first line:
Thank you for your email. It’s good to hear from you.
And for every email question that anyone in the world sends you, you can reply with:
Thank you for your email and question.
Doing this is common courtesy. Thank a potential customer for thinking enough about your product to ask questions.
Especially after the sale
Sending a thank you letter or email (when products are delivered digitally) after a customer purchases from you not only gives you a chance to thank the customer for their business, it gives you a chance make sure the customer fully enjoys the product they purchased from you, and it gives you a chance to build confidence within the customer to purchase from you again. The idea is to thank the customer for their purchase and make them feel good about the product they just received. Doing this costs you little, but can tremendously increase customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.
Don’t overdo it though; your use of ‘thank you’ should be sincere. Thank the customer for considering your product. Thank the customer for doing business with you.
Don’t make the mistake overusing the ‘thank you’ phrase so much that you appear ‘needy’ as you might come off as someone desperate to make a sale. Just thank the customer enough to be courteous.