I had an interesting conversation this week in regards to customer service, which then led to a big impression from an offhand comment.
I was participating in an interview for a podcast for an automotive magazine focusing on customer service. One of the question asked was where I thought customer service ranked in the mind of a typical dealer or GM and where I thought it should be ranked. My answer was that I felt it was top of mind for most every dealer I have spoken with, but I felt how their vision of customer service rolled out to the staff might have room for improvement.
The interviewer mentioned that I had written an article called “Looking Outside of Your Industry for Inspiration” and he asked me what types of things could someone learn outside their industry to improve their performance. I listed some of the things that I have seen in hospitality, such as checking in with guests that are waiting for a service, making sure to make eye contact with them when speaking and walking them out to their car instead of pointing to where they should go.
We wrapped up the interview and as I was speaking to someone about the podcast, they said, “well, you could have talked about the Second Thank You.” This comment almost passed me by, but I stopped and asked what they meant.
They said that in their previous business they made sure to reach out to each customer so they could thank them again for their business. They said that most customers were surprised with the follow up, but also grateful that someone called to make sure everything was okay and to thank them again.
In a world where we are moving at a million miles an hour, we cannot miss opportunities to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. A simple thing that our grandparents may have done if they had a business, asking how things were going and syaing thanks for doing business with me, seems so out of place now.
Being in the digital space I am surprised by how many people think the rules of common courtesy that applied previously don’t apply today. I wonder if we all took the time to embrace the power of the Second Thank You how much better our business would be.
I can think of many ways to do this throughout the year. Just calling previous customers to check in and thank them. Notice I said to call, not send an email or a mailer. If you want to send something in the mail then send a handwritten note or an article you read that made you think of them or something out of the blue.
Your customers will appreciate the effort of the Second Thank You and I bet it retains more customers long term. My caution is this thank you cannot become a standardized process that takes the heart out of it. It has to always be sincere because we all can tell fake gratitude when it is right in front of us.
A simple idea: The power of the Second Thank You.