How to improve your customer appreciation (and recognize other important people too)

One of my favourite traditions over the holidays is watching the Kennedy Centre Honours. This awards show is a beautiful celebration of some amazing artists.

Below, I’m sharing some of my favourite performances from past years.

Paying tribute to someone is a special opportunity. How you recognize a loyal customer, a dedicated employee, a generous donor or other important people says a lot about you, whether as an individual or as a company, and can help to deepen your relationship with those important people.

In my experience, you can’t go wrong if you follow three rules:

1. Be personal. The Kennedy Centre Honours are all about the artists and their impact. When The Who were recognized in 2008, a choir of members of New York firefighters and police officers joined in the tribute, in recognition of The Who’s participation in the 9/11 benefit concert.

2. Be genuine. Truly appreciate the person that you’re recognizing and express that in a warm, honest way. Bruce Springsteen received the Kennedy Centre Honour in 2014. From John Stuart’s opening to Sting’s haunting performance of The Rising, everyone who participated showed authentic appreciation for Springsteen and his music.

3. Be surprising. People don’t expect to be thanked or celebrated. If you can do it in a very special, unusual way, the result will be a very meaningful moment for the person you’re celebrating. At the Kennedy Centre Honours, the award recipients don’t know who is going to be performing for them. In 2016, Aretha Franklin brought the house down with her performance of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and honouree Carole King lost her mind.

To help you follow these three rules, ask yourself three questions:

  1. Who am I recognizing?
  2. What am I recognizing them for?
  3. What’s most important to them? (The answer to the first two questions should help you answer this one)

Build your communication, your event, your recognition based on what matters most to the person–or even the group–you’re celebrating. The result will be a meaningful, personal tribute.

What’s the most memorable tribute you’ve seen? What are your tips to celebrate special people? Need help with your customer appreciation program? Contact 129 Communications to make your recognition meaningful.


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