by Silly Heather Your Paint Pal
As a business owner I am always looking for cost effective ways to market and retain my current customers. An important lesson I learned in business school and over the past decade as an entrepreneur is that it’s cheaper and easier to keep a customer than it is to go out and get new ones. One of the most effective, easiest and powerful tools to keep customers feeling appreciated and your name on their tongue is the good old fashioned thank you note.
Humans crave emotion, acknowledgement and appreciation and when you can connect to a customer on that level, you can almost certainly create a bond that will help you build your empire. I am sorry if I sound redundant because I keep referencing the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, but as I put the book’s practices into action, the more results I am seeing. One chapter in the book talks about the importance of feeling appreciated. This weekend I painted at a charity event for the YMCA. There were several volunteers donating their time in the hot sun and sadly the crowd was less than appreciative. The attendees were angry, inconsiderate, and in 4 hours of painting I heard less than 10 thank yous. I can only imagine, how hard that is on the organizers and volunteers, to work so hard and not feel appreciated. So I made it a point to thank the volunteers personally and make sure I pointed out that I noticed their hard work and I was grateful for people like them. As I was packing up to leave I was looking for the event coordinator and she was busy trying to diffuse another upset guest of the event. So rather than bothering her I decided to start Monday morning with a new type of Thank you note. I like to follow up my events and parties with thank you emails, but they can be boring. So I decided to start making picture thank you notes- Refer to Marcela’s blog about apps for painters on how to make a great collage to showcase your work. A smile speaks a thousand words and it also shows the event planners and hosts a glimpse of the service I provided in case they missed it.
Here are 5 tips to help you create impactful thank you notes that will help you keep customers and pay a smile forward
- All you need is ONE picture from each party and event. If you are like me then sometimes our events are so busy that you barely have time to stop to snap a picture, so rather than stressing to get a full album of pictures STOP when you have completed one of your favorite creations and take a picture. Most of our camera phones are better than any DSLR cameras. One good picture can be the make or break for filled up calendar.
- Timing is everything– Thank you notes should be sent within 3 days of the event. I am learning to manage my time much better and more effectively. So every Monday I commit to blogging and sending thank you notes. This ensures on time consistent delivery of my content and appreciation to my customers. Paint Pal will soon have a blog on how to use online resources such as Salesforce and Insightly to help streamline following up with customers so make sure to check back!
- Keep it short and simple. When I walk into my office on Monday I have easily 600 emails to answer and sort through so if you want your customers to give you the time of day you have to be courteous about the amount of time you are taking up. A picture speaks a thousands words so I create a simple graphic that says Smiles are memories that last a lifetime and I make SURE to include my logo on the picture. Why? Because if they decide to use my image for any promo or on their site then my logo will be shared. And if they share the image with the client or party attendees then my logo is also in their hands if they forgot to take a card or lost my business card. Every event is an opportunity to increase a grow your business.
- Personalize and praise if possible: There is no sweeter word than your own name. From the time we are born and given our name it quickly becomes our favorite word because it’s personal. So when writing a thank you note try to address it to a specific person and if possible, mention a personal moment of praise. Here’s an example of the Thank you note I included with the above image.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Thank you for all your hard work producing such an awesome event. We appreciate your business and for letting us paint smiles for the YMCA.We look forward to creating more smiles together. Heather Green
Debbie was so busy at the event, she barely had time to speak 2 words to me but I saw her working her tail off and I wanted her to know it. I also wanted her to feel appreciated for her service. These same compliments are applicable to birthday party planners and moms too. Every mom that plans a party, wants to host a great memorable event. Compliment the decor, cake, or mention how happy every one seemed to be. Compliments and thank yous never go out of style.
- Seize the moment to inform your clients about upcoming events, specials, or to plant a seed about your other services. Once you have captured their attention with your awesome thank you note, don’t forget to include a little something about your other services or what else they can use your services for. Include a friendly reminder about Halloween bookings or customers to keep up with our ever evolving services so its up to you to be creative.
Very few companies have the luxury of endless amounts of sales and customers beating down their doors to give them business. The majority of us have to nurture and grow our customer base and their is no simpler or more powerful way than with a thank you note. People don’t always remember what you say, but they do remember how you made them feel.
So get to work organizing your thank you’s, prioritizing your marketing efforts, and filling your calendars for the rest of 2015.
When I write a blog, I write from 100% real experiences. I am an active entrepreneur and face painter and I rely on my businesses to provide for my family. If you want your business to return a profit and to be a viable means for income you have to treat it as such. You can’t expect a full time check putting in half time work. And this isn’t exclusive to painters, if you want to improve your business, increase customer loyalty and build a brand that is known for customer experience a well executed thank you is the first stop on your map to success.
Have a GREAT week my friends. xoxoxox Heather