Three Steps to Implementing a Greeting Cards Customer Appreciation Plan for 2018!
So, let me explain how we can use the humble greeting card to help us remain relevant and present in the minds of our clients? It is easier than you think and can be as simple as 1-2-3!
Step 1: Determine touch points for your business process and content.
The first thing you need to do is work out what type of greeting card touch points you want to build into your customer communication plan or customer appreciation plan. I use the idea of the customer appreciation plan because the best way to stay top of mind with clients is to celebrate them, appreciate them and show them you care when you send cards.
Here are some ideas on types of cards you could consider sending:
- ‘It was great meeting you!’ card – This could be sent just after meeting your customer (at this stage still a prospect).
- ‘Thank you’ card – To celebrate them becoming a customer; purchasing your product, course or service etcetera.
- ‘Just checking in’ card – This card could be sent one to three months after the ‘Thank you’ card to check in on them and let them know you are thinking of them. This could be a great opportunity to invite them to provide some feedback on the product or service received. This card could alternatively be used to provide some tips that might help them better utilise your product or service.
- ‘Happy birthday’ card – Sent obviously on their birthday and just celebrating their special day. Here you are letting them know they are important and appreciated.
- ‘Anniversary’ card – To thank them for their ongoing loyalty as a customer or to remind them you are thinking of them and grateful for the connection 12 months after they first became a customer.
- ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy holidays’ and or ‘Happy New Year’ cards –These cards are a great way to connect with customers to wish them a joyful, restful break and a prosperous, healthy and happy New Year.
- ‘Invitation’ card – You may use a card to invite customers to events that help you celebrate them, build a relationship with them and or introduce a new product line, service offerings to them. This sort of card should only be used 20% of the time at most, especially if it is promotional in nature.
- ‘Thanks for the referral’ card – A very important card to communicate your appreciation of the referral business.
The 80/20 rule applies to card sending as it does with other forms of marketing and communication. 80% of communication should be about building relationships, celebrating your client and important things in their life, celebrating your relationship with them and adding value for them (all forms of showing appreciation). 20% of the time it can be about promoting your business or new offerings/services.
Step 2: Update your contact address listings.
Many businesses do have processes in place to capture and update customer addresses, whether it be incorporating this into the new customer process, checking the accuracy of records when they call in or renewing membership annually. If it has been a while since you have been in touch, it may be a good idea to organise for phone calls to be made or texts or emails to be sent to verify address details.
A great idea is to organise a phone contact campaign once a year to check in on clients to see how they are going and how they are finding your service or product. At the same time, you can update address details.
Step 3: Choose and implement a system for creating and scheduling your cards to be sent for the upcoming 3, 6 or 12-month period.
Here you have the following types of choices:
- Pre-order printed generic cards or purchase pre-made cards – these can be written in by you or your staff. You will need to use your own scheduling or project management tools and processes to ensure they go out at the right time points.
- Use a system that allows you to design or choose stock cards, that schedules, prints, envelopes, and posts these cards at prearranged time points for you,
- Use a card and gifting service where someone does it all for you on your instruction at a cost.
For many, the second option can offer flexibility, personalisation and can save you time and money while leaving you in control of the process.
These days there are great systems available where you can incorporate photos, your own handwriting and signature and schedule cards up to a year or more in advance. Those cards that you don’t wish to pre-schedule can be set up ready to send when trigger events occur, from your app or laptop 24/7.
Whatever system you chose, your cards should be sent out in accordance with your appreciation plan, which can be built and executed in the above mentioned three steps to ensure your greeting cards are delivered at the right time points during the business year.
These greeting cards that arrive throughout the year will help you ensure your clients feel appreciated and that you will remain top of mind with them; not forgotten. And this is how you also grow customer loyalty, referral business and a healthy financial bottom line!
I would love to know your thoughts on the ideas I have shared here. Shoot me a comment below.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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