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Every year, my father’s insurance company sends me a birthday card with a stick of Juicy Fruit gum. They’ve been doing it since I was a kid, and the cards keep coming, even though I’m 31 years old and living far from home.
The gum itself may be somewhat stale, but I’m always pleasantly surprised that this company remembers me at my birthday, year after year. The holiday season is a great time to give your customers a similar “warm, fuzzy” feeling by doing some simple customer relationship management (CRM) marketing.
CRM is really just a fancy term for:
While companies often have elaborate CRM strategies and loyalty programs, every business can start small with easy strategies to make customers feel special.
Send a Personal Greeting Card
Custom greeting cards with a personal signature (or maybe even a note) are an easy way to show you care. SitePoint.com has some great tips for business holiday cards at www.sitepoint.com/business-holiday-greeting-cards-tips.
Send Them a Small Gift
People appreciate small gifts like mugs, calendars or office items because they’re useful, as well as thoughtful. When you add your company logo, they become a way to keep your business top-of-mind as well. There’s no limit to the promotional products you can customize, which means you can always create something that ties into your business – a tire gauge for a auto repair shop, toothbrushes for a dentist or flyswatters for a pest control company.
Offer a VIP Special
Everyone wants to feel like a VIP! Sending a postcard or email with an exclusive offer can help to increase customer loyalty and drive traffic. It doesn’t always have to be a discount, either – existing customers will also appreciate “soft” benefits, like getting to skip the line when they arrive at your business or the chance to attend a preview event of your new product.
Send a Print or Email Newsletter
The goal of a newsletter is very similar to promotional items – provide something your client will find useful, without directly pushing your products and services. For instance, a travel agent could send information on preparing for holiday travel, while a real estate agent might provide tips for holiday home decorating.
If you need any help putting these ideas into action this holiday season, your PostNet Neighborhood Business Center can help. Visit www.postnet.com/locations to find a center near you.
Read the original article at http://www.kansas.com/2011/10/06/2050570/five-questions-with-liz-anderson.html#storylink=misearch
BY JERRY SIEBENMARK The Wichita Eagle
When Liz Anderson was growing up in Florida, she told her parents she wanted a career where she would be paid to travel. And her first job was as a Pan Am flight attendant.
Today, Anderson and her husband, Jim — a former airline pilot, including for Pan Am — own a PostNet franchise at 2350 N. Greenwich in northeast Wichita.
By all accounts, the business has been and is successful. About a year after opening in 2008, the Andersons won the company's Great Start award for outstanding achievement in the first months of operation. And last month the store ranked 77th in the company's Top 100 for store performance.
But in the beginning, Anderson said she questioned the wisdom of opening a business as an economic downturn unfolded, nearby businesses closed and building projects under way were halted.
"We were so excited to take this plunge," she said, and then, "We were like, 'Oh my goodness.' "
Why did you pick a PostNet franchise as your business? "We've spent our lives moving and traveling, and (Jim's) career brought us to Wichita. And a couple of years later they wanted to move us again. At that point we had teenagers. Jim looked for a while ... at different opportunities. And we started looking at franchises. We loved the concept of the neighborhood business center, which is what PostNet is all about — opening a business that becomes a part of the community. And I really feel like we've achieved that here."
You said that you haven't seen a lot of foot traffic since opening more than three years ago. How have you managed to bring in customers? "We're known in the franchise as a destination PostNet. We go out, we are part of networking groups, we do a lot of business-to-business marketing and promotion. And most of our business is printing for small businesses. So we feel that we understand their struggles. We're really out there to help them grow business and in turn grow ours."
Did you enjoy working for Pan Am? "I loved every minute of being a Pan Am flight attendant. ... My parents are from Cuba so they came over (to immigrate to the U.S.) on a Pan Am flight. I was based in London the first two years... then I switched to New York. I was based in New York when I met Jim. "It was an awesome job. And I saw the world."
Did that first job teach you anything that stays with you today? "I do think that it prepared you. You had to think on your feet. You had to make do with what you had and you had to make people happy with what you had. A lot of times you had to soothe complaints you had nothing to do with. Our job was to make them relax. It was huge training."
Tell me about your job as training manager at the Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas. "I tell you I had fabulous jobs. We had 500 employees. I managed payroll ... and we were responsible for training carousel attendants, change attendants, floor supervisors. I helped to write training manuals. When Treasure Island opened, I helped to write their manuals."