Some of the best marriage advice I ever got was to never stop dating my wife. Think about it. When you’re dating, you do everything you can to impress your girlfriend or boyfriend. You dress up, surprise each other with thoughtful little gifts, make reservations to nice restaurants - all to show them that you care.
So why stop when you close the deal? I think it’s the key to a successful relationship.
Business is no different.
You work really hard to impress your prospects. Maybe you've spent thousands of dollars overhauling your website, printing beautiful marketing collateral, or networking by joining groups and attending conferences. If you have a proposal outstanding with a client, you can’t stop thinking about them! You call all the time, email to check in, send thoughtful news articles… until they accept.
So, why stop when you close the deal? The attention that you give after you close the deal is more important than the attention you put in before it, so make sure you never stop dating your customers.
Here's how to show your customers you care after they become customers and, in the process, turn them into your biggest fans.
The Anatomy of a Welcome Kit
If you’ve ever joined a fan club, been to a conference, or even purchased insurance, chances are you’ve gotten some kind of swag bag or welcome kit before. A welcome kit can be anything from a simple card to a box of goodies that enhance the experience of working with you. When done right, these little trinkets can have a lasting impact, and turn customers into avid supporters.
After cashing in years of hard-earned frequent flier miles for a first class flight to Europe, I took home some slippers that still make me smile when I walk to the mailbox.
Even my dentist has cracked the code with floss and stickers. Ok, maybe every dentist has cracked the code.
But you can do it too!
1. Say Thank You For Being a Customer
The simplest welcome is a genuine thank you. I use Bond to make it easy. Bond helps you send high quality, handwritten letters in your own handwriting without putting pen to paper. Just fill out their handwriting sample form and their robots will learn how you dot your I’s and cross your T’s -- really.
Ink Cards is another great alternative for sending customized cards from your mobile device or tablet. It doesn’t get much easier.
2. Build Your Brand
A welcome kit is the perfect opportunity to deepen your customer’s understanding of your brand. As a productivity consultant, I preach organizing chaos and getting things done.
Need ideas that fit your business? Check out Fancy.com for some fun and unique gifts.
3. Make Your Welcome Message Sharable
Your customers are your best source of new business, because if they’ve decided to purchase from you, they likely have peers in need of the same great solution.
Try making custom referral cards, where a successful referral results in a discount or credit to both your customer and the person they referred. Moo.com makes it easy to print high end cards, and they’re delivered to you next-day.
My new clients get a t-shirt, because who doesn’t like a free shirt?! With Startup Threads, you can design a shirt and place a bulk order, but they hold your inventory and fulfill shirts individually whenever you get a new customer.
4. Add Value Through Complementary Partners
Another way I add value to new customers is through partners that offer complementary (and complimentary) services.
My customers hire me to help organize the chaos in their business (typically people & processes). But these customers also tend to have a bit of physical chaos going on in their offices or homes, so I partnered with Neat Method to offer 2 hours of complimentary professional organizing for my local customers.
Another common issue that I see is email management chaos. So, I reached out to Sanebox, a service that I use to help filter my email, and they agreed to extend a $15 coupon to new customers that I refer.
I find that most businesses will gladly partner up to extend discounts to your customers if it could help them attract the types of customers they’re looking for. And, the perceived value of discounts you negotiate is taken at face value by your own customers, even though you didn’t spend the money.
A Small Spend Goes a Long Way
Attracting new customers can be expensive, but taking care of your existing customers doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Invest a little in the relationship early on, and watch your customers turn into avid fans!
Oh, Bench sends out a welcome gift too, but I’m not going to ruin the surprise. You’ll just have to sign up to find out what it is.
Chris Ronzio helps business owners organize chaos and get things done through efficiency consulting and the use of online tools. As a high school student, he founded a nationwide video production business that sold over $2 million in youth sporting event videos. He's a traveler, entrepreneur and new dad living with his wife in Phoenix, Arizona.