Friday, November 2, 2007

Good Will Invoice (Smart Idea!)

This is just a great and simple one that I picked up from a client yesterday during a branding session I was facilitating with them.

Essentially it boils down to keeping track of all those little favors you do for customers through out the year but can't really bill for them. How can you benefit from from your largess? Well here's a fantastic way to go about about it and something your customer won't mind getting.

It's called a "Good Will Invoice".

All you have to do is put a value to all those little things you do for free and once a year send out the "Good Will Invoice". It is not an invoice to pay, it is simply to show how 'much value' added there is to working with you. I believe this to be a great public relations move and one to kick up your brand in your customer's mind.

Have a good day.

4 comments:

dante said...

I like this idea quite a bit Ed. I give out a fair amount of free advice and free support so I think I may just start doing it.

My only concern would be that clients may be offended or put-off by this sort of thing, perhaps thinking "yeah so what, do you want my pity?, joke's on you because you've been working for free!"...

I guess my question is how would you go about doing this without making the client feel like they owe you something or, on the other hand, that they took advantage of you? Do you attach a note to it? Explain what it is...?

Robert Kingston said...

I've often thought about how I could bring cutomers' attention to the extra little perks and things I do out of goodwill for them. I'm thinking that a combination of this idea and another could make it unobtrusive and also enough to let clients identify with what you've done to help them.

If you send out a newsletter or blog, you could try saying a thankyou to them once in a while. Something in the order of: "We're very happy to have such great customers who we love working for. In fact we're so happy with our clients, it makes the easy tasks we do, like x, y and z seem like we're working with friends and the big tasks like a, b and c a breeze to work through."

It'd be something really simple but the wording would have to be just right and refined to communicate it in such a way so as not to push a guilt trip.

I think it's a great idea to keep track of all the good things you can do for clients. I mean if you have an understanding about what you're providing them, then it could make re-selling/up-selling/cross-selling much more simple in the future.

Ed Roach said...

Dante,

I think it boils down to respect. Since I use your services, I know how professional you are, so I would see this as a sign of your respect for my loyalty to you.

When my client told me of this idea, I thought - what a great way to increase loyalty to me. I know I would appreciate knowing the extra effort. It would give me one more thing to brag about when I refer you. It adds to your value.

I will go back though, and ask my client for more details on how they approach it so that it doesn't sound like sour grapes. When I get more details and what their customer's reactions are, I will report back.

BIG said...

Hi Ed,

What a great idea! I'm going to start billing immediately.

Hey did you see this post I made? http://www.brandidentityguru.com/wordpress/?p=403

 
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