“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.” -Jacques Maritain
From the time we can speak, most people are taught to say thank you as a way to show appreciation and maintain good manners. From someone opening the door for you to providing great customer service, a simple thank you is an easy way to brighten up someone’s day and demonstrate that you appreciate their efforts.
When was the last time you went out of your way to express your appreciation to your customers? With Thanksgiving approaching, now is the perfect time to celebrate the season by showing your customers that you are grateful for their business. After all, customers are the lifeblood of your company and allow you to pursue a career full of passion and purpose.
Studies have shown that a great customer appreciation strategy drives customer retention, one of the most important aspects in maintaining a successful, long-lasting business. While you may already know that it’s far more expensive to acquire a new customer than keep an existing customer – five times more expensive according to Invesp – you may not know the role customer appreciation plays in customer loyalty, boosting referrals and improving brand reputation. A survey conducted by Ask Your Target Market found that while 88% of survey respondents said they are more likely to do business with companies that really understand their customers, only 59% reported that most of the companies they’ve dealt with have done a good job of understanding their needs. Make sure you stand apart from the competition and ramp up your customer appreciation efforts!
Creative Customer Appreciation Ideas
Customer appreciation is something that should be considered from day one of your partnership with a customer. It does not have to be very expensive or time consuming but should highlight that each customer is unique and important. Check out these five customer appreciation ideas that will make your customers feel special.
1. Send a Handwritten Note
While texting and email can be great timesavers, they have become so commonplace that they don’t add a personal touch, whereas a thoughtful handwritten note is sure give your customers that warm and fuzzy feeling. While this may be one of the more common customer appreciation tactics, it’s a classic for a reason. It works! Take some time this holiday season to pick out a special card and thank customers for working with your company. A personalized card also works well to commemorate customer anniversaries and to congratulate them on other important milestones.
2. Host a Customer Appreciation Event
Everyone loves a party, especially when they’re the guest of honor! Hosting a customer appreciation event – such as a cocktail hour or dinner – can be a fun way to thank all of your customers at once, and also provides your customers with a chance to network with one another and possibly even pick up new business opportunities. The more the merrier!
3. Send a Personalized Gift
Personalized gifts demonstrate that you understand and appreciate your customers. Of course, budget must be considered when picking out personalized gifts. For example, if you work with a large business, it is most likely not financially feasible to send a gift to every employee at the company, nor would that be an effective strategy. Send a personalized gift to the president of the company or members of the management team that you work with the most. If you discover that someone is a wine connoisseur, consider getting them a monthly subscription to a wine collector’s club. If you are in e-commerce, take a look at the customers that comprise the top 20% of your revenue and see what items they have purchased in the past. Based on this, offer them a discount or gift them with something you feel would complement their past purchases.
4. Highlight Customer Appreciation on Social Media
One of the best things about social media is it provides a quick, easy and instant way to give your customers a special shout out! Make sure to put the spotlight on customer accomplishments on your social media and also thank them for allowing you to be part of their journey. Also, if you aren’t following your customers’ social media accounts, sharing their updates and liking their content – start doing it today!
5. Donate to Charity to Show Customer Appreciation
Giving back to the community is always important, and the holiday season presents the perfect opportunity to showcase your company’s caring side. Philanthropy is also on the rise among small businesses, with PRNewswire reporting that around 75% of small business owners have charitable giving plans and donate a portion of their profits annually. As a token of your appreciation, consider gifting your most loyal customers with a donation to the charity of their choice. They will appreciate that causes that matter to them also matter to you.
Additional Inspiration for Customer Appreciation!
There are so many great ways to show gratitude, consider these additional customer appreciation ideas!
- Create a thank you video: A customer appreciation video doesn’t necessarily have to be super high tech or complicated – just a quick video where your team gathers around, looks into the camera and gives a heartfelt thank you. Then make sure to share this video on your website and of course your social media!
- Have a client appreciation day sale: Send customers an email thanking them for their loyalty and inviting them to a sale in their honor. Tell them they’ll receive an additional bonus if they bring a friend!
- Start an exclusive mailing list: Everyone loves to feel like they have cool, top-secret information – which is why exclusive mailing lists for loyal customers are a fantastic idea. They don’t necessarily have to include special discounts, although that definitely won’t hurt, but can let customers know before the general public of upcoming sales or offer insightful tips regarding your products or services.
Your Customers Are Worth It!
There is no successful business without loyal customers. As we remember what we are thankful for this holiday season, remind your customers that you are grateful for their support and will continue to find effective ways to make their lives easier, and hopefully, filled with a little more joy!
Are you ready to make your customers feel extra appreciated? Then contact GREENCREST at 614.885.7921 and we can develop a strategy to help you get started!