By: Meny Hoffman, CEO, Ptex Group

We often take things for granted.

Things like our loving families. Our good health. And our customers.

More often than not, we only realize the true value of these things when we no longer have them. Some people, however, have always recognized that appreciating the things you have at hand can provide you with a better perspective on how to keep them.

For example, if you value your family, you’ll make sure to spend more time with them and stay close. If you value your health, you’ll be sure to diet properly and exercise. And if you value your customers, you’ll do everything possible to let them know how much you appreciate them and want their continued business.

Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, was one such person who truly understood the value of a customer. But it didn’t just end there. He also realized how important it was for his employees to understand the value of a customer.

That’s why he introduced the Wal-Mart cheer in 1975. Employees would gather together in a circle and spell out the company name one letter at a time, then finish with the shout, “Who’s number one? The customer, always!”

The Wal-Mart cheer clearly illustrated Walton’s devotion to the customer. He believed providing low prices every day was one way to keep customers happy. But so was greeting them at the door and making sure the sales staff was always ready to offer assistance. “Give customers what they want,” Walton would say. “And then a little more.”

Now giving the customer a little more doesn’t necessarily mean offering discounts or cutting prices. Here are a few Ptex Practical Pointers that will show you how to give more – without making less.

  • Say Thank You: The simple act of thanking your customers for their patronage can really go a long way. Why not send every customer a thank you postcard after they make a big purchase or order? Better yet, send your best customers a handwritten note expressing your genuine appreciation.
  • Beat The Deadline: There’s nothing more impressive then getting something delivered to a client when they’re not yet expecting it. For instance, if you told a client that his project would be completed by Thursday, go the extra mile to have it finished by Wednesday instead.
  • Give A Referral: Forget about coupons or gift cards – the best thing you can possibly do for a client is to send some more business his or her way. Take a moment to refer the client to your associates. And be sure that the client knows about all the referrals you’re actively sending them.

The bottom line? Take a moment to appreciate the people you’re privileged to do business with. Because when they recognize that you do, they’re guaranteed to appreciate you more as well.