The magic of the “personal touch” in marketing
NOTICE: I come across many of my best marketing ideas just by spending money with different companies and observing what happens during and after the sales process.
In the last couple of months I have spent money with two new companies that I had never spent money with before, as well as money with a dozen other companies that I have used. Many times.
The new companies I spent money with were:
- An online health supplement provider
- A large car dealership
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For the online health supplement supplier, there was a protein powder that I wanted to buy.
I filled out a simple order form, gave my credit card details and within 24 hours my order was delivered by courier to my front door.
During this time, I received half a dozen emails confirming my sale and giving me a tracking number, so that I could follow in real time where my order was.
I also received an SMS on delivery and a follow-up email the next day with an offer for another product that may have been of interest to me.
This company has great systems in place and I was pleased with the prompt delivery of my order.
However, the company could have made my shopping experience even more special by doing something as simple as including a short handwritten note with my order.
The note could have said:
“Hello Graham, I notice you are a brand new customer, so welcome aboard. Please call me if I can be of further assistance. John Smith. “
John could then have attached his business card.
A handwritten thank you note is extremely rare in any business today, so you stand out when you send it.
So I had a good customer experience from this online supplement provider.
However, it could have been a “breathtaking” customer experience if they had made it a little more personal.
For the car dealership, I upgraded my car.
I loved driving a Hyundai Santa Fe for many years, and it was finally time to replace the car with something newer, so I bought a recent model of Hyundai Tucson.
I dealt with an enthusiastic young salesperson who was 24 years old. I enjoyed dealing with this young salesperson. He had a great personality and we got along well.
However, after I drove my car, that was the end of the relationship.
It hasn’t touched the base in the two months since I bought my car.
He is therefore missing out on all the sponsorship opportunities I could offer him over the next few years.
The young car salesman could have done something like sending a handwritten thank you note saying:
“Graham, thanks for letting me help you with your new car. I know you will love it. Please call me if I can be of further assistance to you or any of your friends or colleagues.
He could have sent me an offer for a free mini valet parking from his dealership valid for 30 days.
When I returned to pick up my free mini valet, he was able to discuss how I find my car and see if any of the people I showed it to might be looking for a new or newer car. .
The big mistake that many businesses make is to fail to use the personal touch to build a great relationship with their paying customers after their purchase.
The reality today is that there are multiple suppliers for many products and services.
So we need to stand out in a positive way to get new customers to choose our company to spend their money on.
And by using a personal touch, you can easily turn this one-time sale into a great relationship that will bring you loyal customers and regular referrals for many years to come.
Here’s one final example of the power of a personal touch in marketing:
A few days ago I visited some good friends who had moved from Auckland to Matatā (a small rural town in the Bay of Plenty near Whakatāne).
They took me to a steak dinner at the local pub called The Matata Hotel.
And to my surprise, they phoned the hotel and booked a courtesy van to pick us up from my friends and take us to the pub for dinner.
The van then drove us home when we finished having dinner.
And for all locals (including my friends) this courtesy van service is completely free! We asked the manager of Hotel Matata to drive the van the night I was there.
And there I say everything Thing readers of my experience with this lovely little pub with the personal touch.
Think about how you could use a “personal touch” to build a stronger relationship with some of your customers over the next month.
It’s a great way to differentiate your business and turn normal customers into raving fans.
Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant. You can get his free marketing guide The Plan B sales solution at www.simplemarketinganswers.com.