Planning to call

December: a season of good cheer and of sending goodwill to all. And this year December festivities seem to be more meaningful than before. Not only do we remember those we have lost to Covid over the last two years, we also (at the time of writing) are able to look forward to a Christmas time which is not conscribed by lockdowns.

Christmas or not, there is something about December which makes us pause and reflect. Perhaps it is the shortened days, perhaps the imminent turning of one year to the next. Whatever the reason, December seems to be the time when we reach out, sending cards or arranging get togethers with those who we may not have been in contact with for some time.

And when we are thinking about reconnecting with others, it might also be a time to bring that thought into the workplace, to reach out to customers or suppliers in order to build a connection for the year ahead. Admittedly, the extent of that reaching out will depend on your business. Those businesses with thousands of customers will naturally have to adopt a different contact model to those with a smaller client or supplier base.

Some may therefore look more towards a ‘bulk’ mailing; sending out e-mails or SMS texts to those on their contact list. And even though bulk SMS messages aren’t as personal as a phone call, the fact that you are prepared to show appreciation in any form can be welcome. But other, smaller, businesses may instead decide to pick up the phone for a chat; perhaps just to say thank you for your custom or for managing to keep supplies going under difficult circumstances. Always remembering that any contact will be subject to data protection and usage regulations.

It’s surprising what a simple ‘thank you’ can do. Not only might it help to cement an ongoing relationship, the very fact of picking up the phone could lead to a productive conversation. In the course of a general chat you might find that a supplier is bringing in a new product line; helping you to get ahead in planning for customer delivery in the year to come. Or a customer might mention casually in passing that they liked, or didn’t like, certain aspects of your offering; perhaps giving you the chance to swiftly rectify a problem or enhance an existing service.

Thank-you calls can also have an impact in the charity sector. Interestingly a 2020 study by Bloomerang revealed that a simple thank you phone call to charitable donors within ninety days of the donation increased the likelihood of a second donation from 33.01% to 41.24%. Add in a further call and that return donation rate rose again to 58.21%.

This brings us to a further important message; that thank you phone calls aren’t just for Christmas. If you want to build a lifetime relationship with a customer, supplier, or donor then it might just pay to plan to pick up the phone on a more regular basis throughout the year ahead. You never know where those calls may take you.

Written by Alison