I am just back from Crete. It is a place I have visited seven times and I will continue to return. In the villages in the hills life is still lived close to the land – simple and very honest. In these remoter parts of Crete, keen walkers like myself, are given an open and generous welcome that extends everywhere you go.
Imagine what it is like after a long walk in the hills to return to your room and find a tray with local wine together with figs and pomegranates from the garden. Buy a beer in a taverna frequented by locals and you will likely also get a free plate of mezzes – perhaps toast, tomatoes, olives and omelette. Buy a meal in the evening and you will almost certainly get a generous complimentary Raki (local fire-water) to finish and maybe a plate of melon or other fruit.
These gestures are not bribes but honest and simple ways of saying thank-you for my custom. How often in our pressurised business lives do we forget the simple gestures that make that vital human connection, cost little and create so much goodwill? It is this micro-PR that will keep me coming back to Crete. Find ways to say ‘thank-you’ to your customers and they are sure to keep coming back to where they are made to feel appreciated!