Thursday, April 8, 2010

Customer Loyalty

April is International Customer Loyalty Month – What better time to send customers a Thank You card for their continued business?

People do business with people they know, like, and trust. It is five times harder to get a new client and it cost six to seven times more money, than it does to keep an existing client. Statistics say that if a business retains only 5% of their customer base, it can increase their business by 50%.

68% of all customers are lost due to perceived indifference! A customer who feels appreciated will not go elsewhere when the competition comes calling.  Repeat customers spend 67 percent more. They are your referral engine After 10 purchases, a customer has already referred up to 7 people.

Customer service = Good
Customer Loyalty = Great!

Only 3% of the postal mail is personal. Imagine going to your mailbox and there amongst the bills and junk mail is an unexpected greeting card and you open it and it’s from someone you know and the person is saying thanks, or congratulations, or you made a difference to me. Someone thought about you and followed through and sent a card.  It feels good.

Electronic mail comes and goes but hardcopy thank you notes last.  66 % of consumers surveyed indicated that business greeting cards sent to show appreciation for a purchase or a referral makes them more likely to do future business with that company.

"Even though business thank you cards offer a tangible way for companies to demonstrate customer appreciation, only 44 % of the consumers surveyed received a thank you greeting card from companies with which they do business," said Marc Wagenheim, product marketing director for Hallmark Business Expressions.

Greeting Card campaigns can be used for customer retention which will increase loyalty and referrals.
A campaign is a simple, easy way to set up a series of cards to go out to a client at different pre-set intervals. Just set it up once and forget it. If the campaign is only 4 to 5 cards, the cost per customer would be about $5 per year. So it is a very inexpensive way to keep a company’s name in the fore front of their customers mind.

Example Card Campaign for Insurance Agent –

Card #1 – Thank You card sent to a New Customer
Card #2 – Follow up card mentioning other services – (if you sold them car insurance, then ask about Home Owners. Or vice versus. Or Life Insurance
Card #3 - Who do you know?  Ask for referrals
Card #4 – Birthday Card
Card #5 – Yearly Anniversary - Reminder to call for review of current Policy

Example Card Campaign for Travel Agent –

Card #1 – Thank you for booking your trip
Card #2 – Bon Voyage - Sent to be received right before the client leaves on Vacation
Card #3 – Welcome Home - To be received when the client returns from Vacation. Asking for feedback.
Card #4 – 6 months later. Time to plan for next your next Vacation
Card #5 - Birthday and Anniversary cards

Example Card Campaign for Veterinarian -

Card #1 - New Client - Congratulations on your new pet and/or Thank You for your business
Card #2 - Reminder of Follow up wellness visit
Card #3 - Birthday Card
Card #4 - Send card for National Pet Month which is April
Card #5 - Follow up card mentioning other services, i.e. grooming, dental, etc. and/or ask for referrals

Tip – When sending a card, make the card about the customer and not just getting business. Send to give not to get.

Other possibilities for sending cards throughout the year are Non-Traditional Holidays.  By sending a card other than or in addition to the end of the year holidays, sets a company apart.  People tend to get so many cards that time of year, they all become a blur.

Examples of other holidays and Non-traditional Holidays -

o Ground Hog Day
o Procrastination Day
o St. Patrick’s Day
o April fool’s Day
o Easter
o 4th of July
o Labor Day
o Halloween – (Finances and taxes can be scary) (Credit Cards can be scary)  (The 'Scary' aspect can be used for almost any business).

In my previous blog was a list of websites for major holidays and non-traditional holidays:

And of course sending cards for the following is always a good idea:

- Birthday cards
- Anniversary cards –
       - On the anniversary the client made a purchase, i.e. purchase of home
       - On their traditional anniversary
       - The anniversary of a company being in business. Send a TY for their continued business/loyalty

- Congratulations – Send a card for the new job, promotion, accomplishment, marriage, new baby

With April being International Customer Loyalty Month, what better time to send customers a Thank You card for their continued business?

To keep relationships strong, companies need to regularly remind clients that they are important to them. They also need to remind them who they are, what they do, what services they offer, and why they are their best choice for their product or service. Busy people tend to choose the fastest solution to a problem. By keeping in touch with greeting cards, a company makes themselves stand apart from the rest of the crowd and their clients are more apt to call them the next time they need their product or service.

Tradition says greeting cards are personal. Greeting cards have a traditional feeling of warmth and sincerity; our culture maintains that greeting cards are personal and are sent from someone with whom there is a relationship. In a world of impersonal form letters and mass email, memorable greeting cards are a refreshing marketing tool that will add a personal and memorable touch to the interaction with clients. By incorporating greeting cards into a retention strategy, the message is being sent to the client that an important relationship exists.

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”
                                                                                 - Marian Wright-Edelman

I invite you to check out a simple and easy way to send greeting cards directly from your computer with just a few mouse clicks.  Pick a card, personalize it and our company will print, stuff, stamp, and mail your cards for you.  You can set up campaigns with several cards, as mentioned above, to go out at pre-set intervals. Act now and be entered in a drawing for the book 'Appreciation Marketing.'  Log onto and register for a gift account today.  Be sure and state that you read about this offer on my blog and I will send you the link to send two complimentary greeting cards and register you for the drawing for 'Appreciation Marketing.'

In appreciation,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"
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