How can you show your valued clients how much you appreciate them? Are you looking for ideas that will set you apart?
At Fulfillment.com, an e-commerce order fulfillment company, we ship stuff for our e-commerce retail clients who are scattered around the world. So, when I started thinking about a way to show appreciation for their business, I knew that I wanted to do something that was really unique – an adventure of a lifetime, which we named Ghosts and Guns, that would show how much we value their loyalty in the competitive fulfillment industry. This is how and why we did it…
We decided on a weekend event that would include southern hospitality, great food, and something for the thrill seeker in all of us. We Started off with a night at a luxury hotel and headed out the next morning to 17 South Rod and Gun Club where we took helicopter rides and learned some tactical firearms training. I have to admit, the former Army Ranger in me was in my element, but for my clients it was a totally new experience. It was so great to see the excitement on their faces as they stepped onto a helicopter for the first time and to watch their confidence grow as they learned how to safely handle a gun and fire it downrange.
Having a special event for clients is more than showing appreciation – or showing off. It’s a way to form relationships that goes further than the formality of business. We planned our event knowing that it would be a great way to get to know our clients in person since our Success Managers sometimes only get to communicate through email and phone calls. By going a little over the top was our way of letting them know that when they trust us to handle their products and make sure they get shipped to their waiting customers– that we understand we’re doing so much more than order fulfillment. We’re telling them that we know we’re being trusted with their life’s work, that we know their business represents fulfilling their dream – and we appreciate being an integral part of their success. We get it because we’re business owners too, and the end game isn’t just about our success, it’s about helping others succeed, as well.
Maybe you don’t have the budget to give your clients an excursion weekend. Or maybe you have tons of loyal customers (how great!) and just can’t treat them all to something so extravagant. Tailor your appreciation “gift” to meet your budget and parameters. You can do something special for customers who have been with you, say for five years or more, with tickets to a special event you attend together and get to know each other outside of work. Or plan a one-day or couple of hours getaway and go zip lining, white water rafting, take a dolphin cruise, or go deep sea fishing. The idea here is to give them an experience they might not have done on their own – something that’s memorable and shows that you’re making the extra effort because you truly appreciate their business. Let’s face it, in today’s hectic world, we often forget to say “thank you” – and we all know how much a little appreciation is, well, appreciated.
Although structured to make our customers feel completely spoiled, our event also had a deeper purpose. Fulfillment.com support Advocates of Love, the only children’s home in the Samana Province, Dominican Republic that help vulnerable children in one of the most poverty-stricken locations with physical, educational, and medical care. Our client appreciation adventure helped raise money for this incredible organization for children who otherwise would have no hope. By doing this in conjunction with our client event, we’re letting our customers know that we’re more than just a dynamic e-commerce fulfillment service to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia and beyond – we’re also working to better the world in which we do business.
We’re always looking for great ideas and new ways to show client appreciation.
Justin Singletary is a former Army Ranger and the CEO of Fulfillment.com, a worldwide fulfillment company with a global logistics infrastructure that ships millions of B2B and B2C orders to more than 150 countries.