In the modern era of business, loyalty is a word that is not often used anymore, with the rise in competition and the drop in price this causes often a challenge to even the longest of business relationships, with the option for saving a few pennies and pounds an important consideration as they plan their next sales campaign.
The days of client relationships lasting for years, with no questions being asked and orders flowing freely are less common now, as more and more pressure is now placed on getting the most cost effective deal, rather than paying a bit more to stick with what you know. This is where earning loyalty comes into play, as if you treat the customers with the odd thank you gift here and there, they are going to be more optimistic about sticking on the long term road, even if you might be a bit more expensive than your rival around the corner.
It is important to remember that especially in the service industry, comparing two services like for like is near impossible, but if your client thinks they can save money and they assume they will get the same service, the temptation to dip their toes elsewhere might just be just too tempting to refuse. Therefore, making sure they know you value them, with the odd gift and thank you token, might just make them rethink their decision, or not even contemplate it in the first place.
We talk to Purling Of London, makers of high end, luxury chess sets, backgammon sets and checkers sets, regarding the rise in demand for luxury gifts for clients of the many businesses they work with and the reasons why this investment really could pay big time.
Customers and clients love to feel respected, wanted and valued by any company they do business with, and if they receive a gift that is obviously worth a lot, either in terms of monetary and emotional value, then this in turn can often lead to loyalty in terms of staying with you. We are not saying you need to spend hundreds of thousands every year, but just a one off gift that is maybe unique and something that they might have shown an interest in before can really keep you at the top of their list when it comes to using your services or products on an ongoing basis.
Gifts make people feel appreciated, and from a client’s point of view then this is also very much the case, as a valuable gift that comes out of the blue really can make the difference and allow them to feel really appreciated and that their custom and business really means a lot to you. When someone looks elsewhere after a longstanding business arrangement, it is normally down to how they have been treated rather than price, which is why a little gift here and there can really keep a good relationship on track.
Heartfelt / Memorable
Whether you spend one pound or a thousand pounds, something arriving in the post to say “thank you” for a customer really does mean the world, as firstly very few businesses bother to do this and secondly, it is so unexpected that your business is going to stand out a mile. It also means the client will remember your company and will really hold you close to their heart when it comes to working with you in the future, which in such a competitive world, can mean the difference of a short term relationship or a long term commitment.
All three of these points above lead to one thing – the client sticking with you, giving you more business and in turn, making you more money. Yes, you have to pay for these gifts and yes, you need to factor this into your budgets and your overall marketing campaign spend, but generally, the longer a client stays with you the more money you make, through the existing business and the upselling potential, so this really can be a total winner, if you do not just focus on the cost of these gifts and focus on what they could bring you long term.