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!

Save Yourself from Looking Foolish

The email that showed up in my inbox yesterday from Hyundai Motors reminded me of the importance of list segmentation. And how your business can look foolish, lazy and ignorant if you don’t use it. This email, and I actually got two of them, so I must be in the database twice, invited me to “Save big. Think big” at the Hyundai summer Sales Event.

“Lori, thinking of upgrading? As a Hyundai owner, you have the chance to act fast and save big.”

Really? I just bought my new Hyundai in January. They think I should upgrade already? Clearly they’ve just thrown all the email addresses they have into one giant vat. Everyone gets the same offer regardless of whether she has a six-year old car or a six-month old car. I’m surprised that a company such as Hyundai doesn’t realize that segmentation can strengthen customer relationships, not to mention increase sales.

List segmentation can be as simple or complex as you like

If you have different categories of people in your database, and you should, make sure you’re segmenting your lists. You can do this even if you’re using something as simple as a basic spreadsheet. Create some kind of designation for customers, for prospects, for vendors, etc. You could take it a step further and segment customers by what product or service they’ve purchased or in the case of prospects, which one they are interested in.

Now when you send out offers, you can make them specific to each category of recipient. You become more relevant and credible and your offers will be more effective. Trade in your six-year old car and get our special Eco-Trade Bonus! Been thinking about buying a whirly-gig to improve efficiency in your financial services office? Now’s the time because…

When it comes to ways to thank your customers, list segmentation can be equally important. Yes, it’s a nice idea to think that all clients are equally valuable, but the truth is they are not. Some spend more money or send you more referrals and therefore have a higher lifetime value than others. Others are easier and more fun to work with or require less hand-holding.

Dividing your customer appreciation efforts into tiers and rewarding the A-listers either more frequently or in a bigger way than the B’s and C’s is a smart strategy. The A-list clients are the ones who are the most profitable for you, so it stands to reason that you should spend more time and money to keep them. You don’t ignore the rest of your clients, but you may choose to put fewer resources into their retention.

List segmentation allows you to make more intelligent, accurate decisions. Need help figuring out the best method of segmenting or creating a tiered program to thank loyal customers? Set up a complimentary 15-minute strategy session with me simply by going to