In the book, Love is The Killer App, author Tim Sanders quotes former Coca-Cola Chairman Robert Goizueta as saying, "In real estate, it´s location, location, location. In business, it´s differentiate, differentiate, differentiate."
How many e-mails do you get a day? Dozens? Hundreds?
How many thank-you letters do you get a day?
One way to differentiate yourself and your business from your competition is by sending your customers hand written thank-you notes.
Now don´t be telling me you don´t have time. If you want to differentiate yourself from your competition, this is one way to do it. Outside sales people can carry a stack of notecards, envelopes, and postage with them and can write them in between appointments or cold calls. Inside sales people can write them during non-peak hours.
Also, keep several "get well" cards handy. When you find out one of your customers is sick, send the card. Your card may be the only one your customer receives from someone with whom he or she does business.
My second suggestion for differentiating yourself from your competition is to open your mouth. Now you might think that, since I suggested thank-you notes and get well cards, that I would suggest birthday cards as well. But Keith Ferrazzi, in his book, Never Eat Dinner Alone, calls his customers and friends and verbally wishes them a happy birthday. How many people outside your family called you on your birthday? Wouldn´t you remember that call for a long time?
These are two easy and inexpensive ways to nurture the relationship between you and your customers. The stronger the relationships, the likelier you are to have a positive customer service experience.