Sorry to disappoint regular readers of this column, but this month’s Final Word will be less of a rant and more of a nugget. Maybe even a golden nugget!
Almost 10 years ago now, one of my franchisees in thebestof, Clive Hannis in Gloucester told me of a new initiative that he’d introduced whereby he presented every one of his customers with a certificate that “officially” recognised them as one of the best businesses in Gloucester.
“The impact it has is amazing, Nige” he told me “They’ve not had a certificate since they swam 10 metres at school and they absolutely bloody love it …”
It turns out Clive was onto something, and the best of has been officially recognising businesses ever since.
We attract huge numbers each year to compete on the Loveo-Meter to be recognised as the most loved business in their town, or in their category. And we’ve done it that way, by town and category because it allows a lot more businesses to be recognised.
For the National Entrepreneur Awards in November, we had 211 entries. Some people were really upset that they didn’t make it to the Finalist list. Why? Because they cared. And they think they
should get an award.
Bear with me here, because I really am going somewhere with this …
If you pay attention to the EC Private Group on Facebook, then what you’ll see, most weeks, is someone posting a picture of a card that I have sent them. I’ve got four designs of cards and the insides are completely blank, allowing me to handwrite a personal message in each one.
What I’ve discovered is that sending these cards has a profound impact.
People love receiving them.
People share the cards that I have sent on social media and with their friends.
People write to me thanking me for sending them a card.
And here’s the golden nugget.
You see, I reckon that most people think that they deserve an award or recognition for something, but are disappointed when it never comes. It applies inside a marriage, inside a workplace, and
with your customers.
Acknowledgement, recognition, thank you notes “on paper, with ink!” verbal mentions and trophies are powerful kinds of currency that have little or no cost beyond thoughtfulness.
I watched my youngest son, Fabian, who’s nine, playing a golf game on his iPad in the kitchen the other night. It didn’t just post his score. It says things like “Amazing shot”, “Congratulations”, “You’re awesome” and “Wow – look at that drive”. And it puts his name in the top ten list of players.
He keeps playing for the congratulations, not just to play or win the game. And so it is in life.
I’m fortunate to get more than my fair share of recognition passed back to me by members and others. Several times a week, I get things in the post or in my inbox from people saying nice things about the stuff that we’ve done.
People are genuinely happy when me or the EC does something well. I love it every time I receive something like that. It’s the fuel in my tank.
Imagine how the person who never hears applause feels.
This is a void that you can fill. And if you want your customers superglued to you, this could be how to make it happen.
Say “well done”.
Tell ‘em they’re great, or that they’re you’re favourite customer.
Watch what happens…
That’s the final word.