Here we are again, in the month of November. As in tradition, the month of November is a time to reflect on everything in our lives that we are thankful for, give gratitude where it’s due, and of course overindulge in all of the delicious foods that you only eat once a year. All of this reminiscing about the past year’s happenings had me thinking about what I am doing to make my customers thankful.
To make your customers thankful, what does that mean and why is it important? We hear a lot of conversations about making customers successful, and delighting customers throughout their experience, which are both very important, but what about making them thankful? The pure act of making someone thankful means that you are making their lives easier, or they grateful for you.
What are some simple things that you could focus on all year round to make your customers thankful that they are partnering with you?
There are many things you can and should be doing to achieve “thankfulness”, but here are a few to get you started:
- Make working with you easy
- Provide a clear ROI
- Grow, scale and evolve with them
- Be consistent
- Be a partner
Make working with you easy
From onboarding, support, to renewal, working with you should just be easy. When working with you, your team, or your product, your customers should not encounter any unnecessary barriers to their success. Set out with a goal to delight your customers, and understand from the customer perspective what “delight” means.
Provide a clear ROI
When time for renewal comes, your customers should not be scratching their heads, wondering what value you’ve provided. Value should be clear, it should be present throughout the year and there should be many conversations around it, and opportunities to demonstrate it. Your product/service should make your customers’ lives easier, and it should be that obvious.
Grow, scale and evolve with them
Within reason, as your customers evolve and grow, so should you. Be deliberate in setting your strategy around how you will grow, scale, and evolve with your customer base. You may outgrow your customers as you move upmarket, which is fine as long as it’s deliberately part of your strategy. But you need to understand that customers, too, can outgrow you as they grow, scale, and move upmarket.
Know what your customer strategy is and how today’s customers fit in, or don’t. This will make the customer experience clear and deliberate, rather than an accident.
McKinsey & Company published an awesome article a few years ago that explores the importance of being consistent with customers. In this article, McKinsey touches upon the importance of being consistent in the customer journey, its emotional aspects, and through communication. Being consistent in these three key areas creates trust with your customer base and an overall increase in customer satisfaction, and it evokes that thankfulness that we are seeking. In business, nobody likes unwelcomed surprises, and consistency is a key to avoiding doing that.
Be a partner
Instead of being a service provider, be a partner to your customers. When you view yourself as a partner rather than someone providing a service, you will see a change in how you approach the relationship. A few key changes this generally evokes are: who you sell to, how you think about their journey, how you advocate for the customer internally, and how you help them evolve and grow. When you are merely providing a service, you can feel a bit removed from the overall experience. When you think about everything from a partnership standpoint, there tends to be more of a joint responsibility for overall success. Treat your customers as valued partners and not just another company/individual using your service.
Don’t wait until November (or renewal) to think of ways to make your customers thankful for your partnership. Build the “thankfulness” sentiment into every interaction and every moment.
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