Are you missing one of the best ways to keep loyal, return customers and collectors?
When my son was a toddler, he joined me on the road for my unconventional furniture business and he frequently mimicked the behaviors he witnessed. One of his first full sentences was “thank you for your business”. Customers got a kick out of this tiny boy reaching out to shake hands in gratitude. It’s no coincidence that today he’s in demand while others in his field struggle to find work. He makes it a point to show appreciation.
Whether you sell your hand made work at craft fairs, wholesale to galleries or direct to consumers on a site like Etsy, one of the best ways to stand out in the minds of your customers is to let them know you are grateful for their patronage. If you sell in person at craft fairs, trunk shows or home parties, take a moment to write a quick thank you on each invoice. Then, follow it up later with a thank you note. (You do keep a mailing list of your customers, don’t you?) Make it personal. Mention something about the piece he bought and that you hope his daughter’s graduation party was fun or his wife was thrilled with the piece. Let your customers know you were listening and care about them. Even if you never meet your customers face-to-face, include a handwritten thank you when you ship out the order. If you sell wholesale to shops and galleries, include a thank you with your orders AND send a handwritten thank you a few weeks later. This may remind them that it’s time to re-order. Even if you put your work on consignment, be sure to drop a note to the gallery owner about how much you appreciate her showing your work and that you look forward to a long and mutually prosperous relationship.
Remember your customers are exchanging their hard-earned cash for something you made by hand so try to use either hand-made cards or at least something that reflects your artsy style. No Hallmark thank you cards. Maybe you can work a trade with a paper artist to design a custom thank you card for you in exchange for some of your work. Be sure to include your web url, email address and phone number on each card. Whatever you do, do not use one of those online thank you note services. Your work is made by hand, not on an assembly line so your thank you notes should reflect that. There is nothing personal about automation.
I’d love to hear how you are showing customers how much you appreciate their business. As always, you are invited to comment below.