The Law of Reciprocity

As an entrepreneur, you have countless relationships you need to manage on a daily basis. There are your employees. There are the vendors who provide needed support services to help you run your business. And of course, there are also your customers.

Maintaining quality relationships with each of these groups will prove vital for your lasting success. And perhaps the best way to ensure that you enjoy strong relationships is to make ure that you always follow the law of reciprocity.

As sales training authority Brian Tracy wrote in a blog post, the law of reciprocity is “considered by many to be the most powerful law of human nature. Basically, it states that, ‘If you do something nice for me I’ll do something nice for you. I feel obligated to reciprocate.’”

So, how exactly do you put the law of reciprocity into real-life practice?


Start by building trust.

Building trust with consumers, particularly those who have never interacted with your brand before, is key By giving something of value away for free — as the law of reciprocity details — you establish your industry authority and demonstrate that you have your customers’ best interests at heart.

This is why you see so many startups, (particularly SaaS companies), offer free trials that allow users to try those companies’ services before buying. It’s why many industry authorities post a wealth of blog posts sharing actionable information, or share free ebooks with their users.

As Impact BND’s Ramona Sukhraj highlighted in an article, “GoToWebinar reportedly sees around 40 percent of its free trial-users convert into paid plans, while the best-in-class softwares see more than 60 percent.”

As Sukhraj continued, a free trial for SaaS prospects lets them “see behind the curtain.” It lets them experience what your product looks like, how it functions and how they personally will interact with it.

This builds trust in potential customers because they know exactly what to expect from your products or services. With other business relationships, a similar strategy of offering advice or assistance free of charge will go a long way in building a positive foundation for your relationship.

Continually show appreciation.

Building trust at the beginning of a customer relationship is vital. But to continue to enjoy that strong relationship for many years, you must periodically show your appreciation.

As Satwick Saxena of EvaBot, noted, “According to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, 68 percent of customers end a business relationship because they don’t feel appreciated or cared about. That’s a lot more than the 14 percent who ditch a business because they don’t like the product.”

Added Saxena, “When you show appreciation to your customers, it humanizes you. It makes them realize that you know them and they matter.” And that humanizing builds loyalty, which may give you a life-long customer, Saxena said, as well as bring you a referral or recommendation.

Loyal customers often appreciate special offers or discounts — especially when these offers are personalized based on previous purchases. This can greatly increase the likelihood of these customers making additional purchases.

A CMSWire case study is relevant here.  It revealed that “in a recent 12-month period, businesses with a 40 percent level of repeat customers generated 47 percent more revenue than similar businesses with only a 10 percent level of repeat customers.”

The same principles are vital for retaining your most valued employees. While positive affirmations and words of thanks can help employees feel appreciated, tangible items like a promotion, raise or bonus can foster greater loyalty among your top performers. 

Incentivize your audience.

Sometimes, you can be up-front with how you use the law of reciprocity and still go a long way toward strengthening your brand. Your current customers are often willing to do something that helps that brand when they know they will receive something of value in return.

Few examples of this principle are better than that Dropbox. As a case study reported on by Overthink Group revealed, Dropbox used its referral program to grow from 100,000 to 4 million users in a 15-month period. The key to this success?

“Referring your friends and family to DropBox makes your account more valuable,” the case study reported. “Free users automatically get 2 gigabytes of cloud storage, and every referral earns you an additional 500 megabytes … the referral program is framed as a benefit to the user.” 

Highlighting the free storage space users would get for each referrals created a highly engaged audience willing to invite others to join Dropbox. Today, Dropbox has over 500 million users — not a bad result for a company that gives away some free storage.

Give before you receive.

At the end of the day, the most important element of the law of reciprocity is that you be willing to give away something of value without expecting something in return. 

Whether you choose to use words of affirmation with a top employee, offer meaningful gifts to a loyal client or demonstrate added trust with a business partner, you will strengthen the relationships that matter most for your business’s growth and build a positive brand image.

You won’t always get something tangible in return. But by increasing customer loyalty, employee productivity and more, your company will get the growth it needs to succeed.

Source: Entrepreneur Inc

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The Importance of Showing Appreciation

It’s no surprise that there are lots of benefits to feeling appreciated. But the benefits of showing appreciation may be less obvious.

Often when we show our appreciation for others, we think of it as something we are doing for them. And, to an extent, that is true. We want them to feel valued and recognized; we want them to know that they are appreciated.

But showing appreciation for others can also have amazing benefits for you, too. Let’s take a look at some of the ways showing appreciation for others can be good for you.

Productive Employees

There is a sea of evidence proving that employees who feel appreciated are much more productive than those who don’t. While this certainly isn’t the main reason to show appreciation for your employees (like, for example, that they deserve it and it makes them feel good), it is a tangible business benefit to doing the right thing. Showing your employees how much you appreciate them is one of the easiest win-win situations in the book.

Loyal Customers

Customers know when they aren’t being appreciated. In fact, according to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, 68% of customers end a business relationship because they don’t feel appreciated or cared about. That’s a lot more than the 14% who ditch a business because they don’t like the product. When you show appreciation to your customers, it humanizes you. It makes them realize that you know them and they matter. Showing appreciation for your customers builds loyalty, which not only leads to that single life-long customer, but makes them more likely to make a referral or recommendation.

Deeper Connections

Not all of the benefits of showing appreciation are specific to business, either. When you acknowledge someone’s value, you forge a connection with that person, regardless of their role in your life. This isn’t measured in dollars and cents, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Showing appreciation is a way of acknowledging a person’s value, which is something the entire world could do with more of.

Feeling Happier

When you show appreciation or gratitude for someone, they feel happier. But so do you! In one study, people who wrote in gratitude journals reported higher levels of happiness, and even some health improvements compared with a control group.

How to Show Appreciation

We covered some tips on how to better show appreciation in our last post. But here are some specific things you can do to show someone they are valued:

Say Thank You

Seems obvious, right? But sometimes we still forget how important these two simple words really are. We might think it’s obvious that we appreciate someone’s help or support. But sometimes we forget the part about actually saying (or writing) thank you.

Show Additional Trust

This can come in a personal or professional context, and can be incredibly meaningful. If someone has proven themselves to be a trustworthy and supportive person in your life, consider entrusting them with additional responsibilities. In a business context, this might come in the form of a promotion. In personal relationships, it might be simply sharing your own vulnerabilities.

Give a Thoughtful Gift

Gifts are a time-honored way to show your appreciation, in both business and personal relationships. A gift shows that you are thinking about them, and that you want to go above and beyond a simple thank you. One tip, though, make sure to include a note as well (bonus points if it’s handwritten) expressing your specific appreciation. It makes the gift that much more impactful if the person knows what they are being acknowledged for. Sending gifts can be time-consuming, especially if you have trouble choosing the perfect gift. EvaBot can help you out there, complete with the handwritten note.

Bottom Line:

Showing appreciation benefits everyone. When you show gratitude and appreciation, it makes you happier and healthier. So, give yourself the gift of happiness and send someone a thoughtful gift today!

Source: evabot

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With Customer Appreciation You Have the Advantage

How do you feel when someone genuinely appreciates you for your input or effort? It feels nice and warm, doesn’t it?

That’s the kind of feeling you want customers and clients to associate with you. As a solopreneur, chances are you will perform a lot of the business’s tasks yourself, so you’ll probably relate with a lot more people than if you had a team working for you.

As a business owner, you don’t need to be reminded on the importance of keeping customers happy. However, in the midst of all the tasks and appointments you have to keep, you might forget to do the little things like genuinely saying “thank you” that make a whole world of difference in other people’s lives.

Appreciation Is Important

According to data obtained from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) office on client retention surveys, 68 percent of clients leave because they perceive the business does not care for them. Compare that to 14 percent because of product dissatisfaction. At the very least, you can rebound from having a bad product, but where the client feels you do not value them, they will leave and it will be much harder for you to bring them back.

How people feel about you and their desire to transact with your business are closely related, if not directly proportional. And it’s true in reverse scenarios, too. With the exception of a business offering low prices, you will buy from someone who treats you kindly, smiles, and lets you know how valuable you are to them. So why not do the same for your clients?

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

To understand properly the effort you need to put into your appreciation efforts, you have to think like your customer or client. Remember, in their eyes it is all about them. Thus, you need to put other’s needs before your own if you are to succeed at conveying genuine appreciation.

Genuine appreciation is heartfelt and sincere. Fake appreciation is easy to spot and cultivates a level of distrust in the recipient that is hard to shed.

You have to identify the personality traits that make working with a particular client pleasurable to you and praise that. It’s more like giving compliments, and you also don’t expect anything in return.

More Than Just Appreciation

Even as you go about being appreciative to the people you interact with that make your business grow, you have to think continually of ways to make the customer experience better and easier. Make it easier for customers to transact with you through a number of ways, like having an easy-to-remember phone number, fast responses to email and social media queries, and easy to fill online forms.

Encourage customers to give feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about doing business with you. Customers have with them a wealth of knowledge that is useful in your efforts to improve your services and overall attitude.

Lastly, never forget to say “thank you.” Don’t just say it when customers purchase from you. Make appreciation a consistent theme in your work and life, and clients will take notice and want to associate with you. Happy customers will likely come back, and they’ll share their positive experiences with others, thus expanding your potential reach.

That’s something to be thankful for, isn’t it?

Source All Business

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