How Personalized Gratitude Can Develop, Maintain, or Repair Your Customer Relationships

The craziness of Q4 has subsided. We’ve sent our clients and prospects holiday goodies. And we’re rolling into Q1 with a fresh set of New Year’s resolutions and pants that are slightly tighter than they should be thanks to all the holiday treats. 

It’s no secret that everyone’s itching to start this new year and new quarter off on a good note. 

New year. New decade. New leads. The word “new” keeps popping up everywhere. But just because the focus is on new business, doesn’t mean your current customer relationships should be put on the back-burner.

Want to know the key to developing, maintaining, or repairing your customer relationships as the new year ensues? Incorporate personalized gratitude.

What is Personalized Gratitude?

Between firing off emails, dialing into meetings, and sending extensive direct messages via Slack or Microsoft Teams, it’s easy to assume that constant client communication signifies “connectivity.” But just because you’re corresponding with your customers doesn’t mean you’re growing these relationships. 

As your clients make their way back to the office from their vacays, you’ll start by asking them how their holidays went. As the discussions turn to 2020 KPIs, you’ll continue expressing gratitude by thanking them for their time at the end of phone calls, and signing post-meeting email recaps off with your signature “Thank You.” 

To step up your game, incorporating personalized gratitude will enhance these relationships and make them more meaningful, which will help you grow your accounts and your company’s reputation as the year progresses. 

But what, specifically, is personalized gratitude? It’s expressing appreciation in a manner that is specifically tailored for the individual, group, or entity that you’re recognizing.

This extra, customized touch will put you at the top of your clients’ minds, which in turn will help you develop your relationships and yield strong ROI for your business. 

The Power of Personal Relationships

It’s simple: people do business with people they like. Think about it – who are your top clients or customers? People you know well, most likely. Perhaps your relationships with these individuals have grown over the years, or maybe they were already in your network before you obtained your current role. 

They remain in your rolodex and continue doing business with you not only because they believe in the organization that you represent or the product that you’re promoting, but because they like you on both a professional and personal level. 

In fact, 94% of people attribute business success to personal relationships. Why? Because there’s already a good rapport with established connections. 

You know some of your contacts’ birthdays, favorite restaurants, and children’s names. But there are some that you’ve only conversed with a few times, maybe once or twice in passing, who you’d like to know beyond their company and job title. In an effort to expand your exchanges with these individuals, a little personalization will go a long way. 

Wondering how you can be more likable? Incorporate personalization.

Flashback to high school for a minute. It’s lunchtime. You’re sitting in the cafeteria, slicing your Monday meatloaf as the popular kids crowd around their usual lunch table, giggling together. You wonder what they’re laughing about, and you hope it doesn’t involve you. 

Since your teenage years, you’ve questioned if people like you. But you’ve graduated, moved far beyond that cringey stint of half-decent haircuts and questionable fashion choices, and put that popular clique in your rearview mirror. Now that you’re adulting, your main concern regarding likability involves your professional relationships. 

To be more likable in the “work world,” all it takes is a bit of personalization. Especially when it comes to your customer relationships. 

In fact, each time that you interact with your clients and don’t provide them with something that’s customized and relevant to their personal interests, you miss an opportunity to make a sale or earn their loyalty. To make matters more daunting, 57% of email recipients consider a message to be spam if it isn’t relevant to their needs, even if they know the sender well.

The bottom line? If you’re not practicing personalization, you’re likely losing business. Yikes.

But there’s no need to panic: Personalization can be basic. 

In general, writing customized snippets in emails can increase your reply rate by 100%, even when the outreach is cold. And according to a report from Adestra, personalized references in an email subject line can boost your cold email open rate by 22.2%.

Taking the time to add these personal touches will make recipients feel special and more inclined to grow their current or potential partnerships with your company.

Combine Gratitude with Personalization to Create Better Client Relationships

Whether it’s writing an impromptu note or having a cake delivered to a client’s office for their birthday, going beyond your day-to-day client communications provides long-term gains. 

For professionals, expressing gratitude means more than maintaining good manners: the right type of thank you sent at the perfect moment is capable of broadening your business. 

It may seem more efficient to send mass client communications, but the effects are ephemeral. In a study highlighted by Inc., their research uncovered that not only do 60% of consumers believe that gratitude, regardless of how it’s expressed, should be conveyed by saying “thank you” directly to individual recipients, but 44% affirm that these displays should also be personalized

One way to display personalized gratitude for your clients? Gifting. Since 40% of consumers pay attention to products and experiences catered to their preferences, it’s no doubt that your customers will turn their heads at the sight of being sent something specialized.

With personalized gifting on the rise, you’re provided with a wider array of items to choose from and even more methods to drive client loyalty and engagement for your business. 

3 Easy Tips for Incorporating Personalization 

As Q1 begins to heat up, here are three easy tips that can help you add personalized gratitude to your list of 2020 KPIs: 

1. Use Personalized Delivery Systems 

If you plan to send your customers something as simple as a personalized note, avoid your client’s inbox and opt for a hand-written note. 

2. Apply Personalized Messaging 

If you’re sending your expressions of personalized gratitude via email, tiny tweaks to your drafts will make a big difference. It takes little effort to add a recipient’s name to an email subject line, yet the results can be impactful. Even the small gesture of including a recipient’s first name in the subject line of an email can boost your open rates by 29.3%.

3. Incorporate Personalized Gifting

Picking out personalized gifts for your customers is only half of the battle. What’s more important is ensuring that they remember what you sent them. According to a report from Knack, gifts that are considered “very memorable” are:

  • 40% more likely to contain a personalized message
  • 80% more likely to have been selected specifically for the recipient
  • Twice as likely to include the recipient’s name or monogram

Going this extra, personalized mile will lighten Q1 conversations and provide a buffer for any potential mistakes made in the new year. 

A New Resolution for 2020

Whether it’s a thoughtful note or a customized gift, incorporating personalized gratitude will not only enhance your current customer relationships, but it will also open doors for new business opportunities, and build a better brand affinity for your company. 

Adding personalized gratitude to your list of resolutions will start the new quarter off on the right foot, and will bring new smiles to your clients’ faces. 

Thnks makes it easier to incorporate personalized gratitude in order to grow, maintain, or develop your client relationships. In a matter of seconds, you can search for the perfect gift, personalize a note, and send it off via SMS or email. Interested in learning more? Sign up for a demo!