Infusing Humor into Your Customer Appreciation

Today is the birth anniversary of Lucille Ball. Born in 1911, she became one of the world’s best known and most loved comediennes. Who doesn’t haveLucille Ball a favorite episode of her wacky adventures on “I Love Lucy,” that when you think about it now, still makes you laugh out loud?!

A sense of humor is consistently on the top 5 list of characteristics people find most attractive in others. Even the most serious person enjoys a good laugh once in a while. Life and business can be challenging and stressful. Humor lightens the mood, makes you feel good and strengthens relationships.

Business guru Tom Peters claims “The number one premise of business is that it need not be boring or dull. It ought to be fun. If it’s not fun, you’re wasting your life.” He says humor in the workplace increases creativity, teamwork and ultimately productivity. People want to work with people who are fun.

Are you infusing humor as part of your customer retention strategy? When you’re looking for ways to say thank you to customers, incorporating humor can be the way to go. I hear all the time from professionals who think their industry is too conservative to allow them to use humor. Yes, I’m talking about you in financial services, insurance and the medical professions. It’s not true! Of course there is a place and time for everything. Customer appreciation is all about strengthening relationships, and since we’ve already established that humor does that, then here is exactly the right place to use it.

No need to dress up in a clown costume or send out rubber chickens. All you need is a little forethought and creativity. Here are few gift ideas you can use to say thank you this month that will surely solicit a laugh from your loyal customers, along with “reasons” why you’re sending this particular gift at this time.

Need more ideas or help creating a message to go with your humorous client appreciation gift? Want someone else to find and send customer thank you gifts for you? Not a problem. Give me a call and let’s get started!

Respect for Time

Doctors appointments are one of those things that you just can’t delegate to someone else. Today was my third visit to Dr. H and the first time I didn’t have to wait more than 25 minutes to see him. So not only does he get to inflict pain, as there’s some physical therapy involved, I have to wait around for it.

When I show up on time, I expect him to do the same. And while I get sometimes there are emergencies that can throw off the schedule, it would be nice to have notice if that is indeed the case. How about a text message to say they’re running 30 minutes behind, or at least a heads up when I arrive.

Everyone’s time is valuable and in my book, it’s a matter of respect to honor someone’s time by not wasting it. Updates are equally important when it comes to serving your customers. Companies such as Amazon and Zappos have set the bar for delivery expectations pretty high. Stories of deliveries made less than 24 hours after order placement create a belief that every company can, should and will be able to do the same.

Fair or not, it is what it is and it’s your job to set the proper expectations for what your business can and will deliver so you still look good. You will boost client retention by letting them know ahead of time what to expect from doing business with you. Can you pledge to return phone calls within two hours? Keep them waiting no longer than five minutes? Ship packages within 24 hours? Whatever it is that you do, give your clients the guidelines of how you do it so they know what to expect and aren’t disillusioned or disappointed. Now they have an increased level of comfort, which makes them more likely to come back again, and share their experience and recommendation with others.

PS: Today I didn’t have to wait because I learned if I make my appointment for 2:00, I’ll be the first one after lunch, so no one ahead of me to mess up the schedule!