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Love Your Customers

Lurking somewhere in your email list and hiding among your web analytics data, your best customers are waiting to be discovered.

This Saturday I received a letter in the mail.  The envelope was nondescript and the return address was a P.O. Box I did not recognize. It looked and felt like the type of envelope that contains a new credit or ATM card. When I opened it up I was pleasantly surprised — inside was a letter from the Director of Customer Care at The Home Depot and a $50 gift card. The letter was thanking me for my online business during the past year!

I have to admit, I did spend a lot of money at The Home Depot over the last twelve months. I was in the midst of a variety of large scale home improvement projects that required the purchase of a washer, dryer, refrigerator, barbecue, sinks, cabinetry plus much more — all bought online. Before I received this letter I did not feel especially loyal to The Home Depot, despite having spent a lot of money with them. But if something better came along, I would not think twice about purchasing from a competitor.

I put some thought into it and determined that I bought from The Home Depot for four main reasons:
  1. They have competitive prices.
  2. They have a strong online presence.
  3. They offered free shipping and other great offers in their emails.
  4. They have online ratings and reviews. I want to read what others think about a product before I purchase it.

What is the moral of the story?
  1. Know your best customers.
  2. Thank your best customers often and appropriately. The Home Depot not only thanked me with this letter, but they gave me a gift card, a VIP email address and VIP phone number to their customer service if I ever need it.
  3. Don’t assume that your best customers will always be your customers. Give them a reason to continue to do business with you.

Here is the letter I received from The Home Depot:

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