It doesn’t matter if you own a bricks-and-mortar business or run an online business (or some combination); all customers want the same thing —to feel appreciated. And it doesn’t matter the size of your business; your customers want to feel they aren’t just another number. It’s up to you to make them feel important, and this time of the year is a perfect time (but not the only time!) to do it. Forget all the digital mania. Saying “Thank You” never goes out of style!
Customer Appreciation Ideas
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Phone Call – If you have many customers, it may not be feasible to call all of them, but calling a few top customers who are least expecting it is a fun way to show your appreciation. Let’s face it: in this day and time, connecting with others the good old-fashioned way is becoming more and more of a lost art. Think about it: when was the last time anyone called you to say thank you for your business. I can only think of one: Daniel Hall.
- Personal note/card – You know me; and you know I’m talking about a real handwritten personal note. Don’t use something like Send Out Cards, because anyone can tell it’s computer-generated. As with phone calls, this will work more easily for a smaller business, but even if your business is large, send a personal note to your top customers.
- Discount coupon – this is definitely a win/win situation for both you and your customers. They love saving money, and you want them to spend their money with you. So it only makes sense to give them an incentive to do it!
- Referral bonus – If you’re an online businesses, you can sign up with an affiliate program that enables your customers to become affiliates of your business and make a commission when they tell others about you. If you’re an offline business, find another way to track who is referring sales to you so you can reward the top referrers. It can be as simple as a referral coupon with your customer’s name on it. Your customer gives it to their friends, and if they bring it in and make a purchase, you can recognize that customer in some way.
- After-hours get together – if you’re a small bricks-and-mortar business, an after-hours get together with snacks and some beverages could be a fun way to interact with your customers and show your appreciation. Keep in mind, this time of year is very busy. A New Year’s Open House may be especially enjoyable as a break in the winter weather.
- Customer “shout-out” – This term is usually associated with mentioning someone (in a positive way) on any social media platform (as I did with Daniel Hall in #1 above). Decide if you should get your customer’s permission before sharing anything about them on social media, but most are happy to have the visibility that a “shout-out” provides. You can emulate this in the offline world by mentioning a customer(s) in a newsletter, brochure, or newspaper ad.
These are just a few ways to say thank you to your customers and let them know you appreciate them. See what else you can come up with. Get creative. And if you’re still in need of more ideas, check out some of these I found on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/netchicksmarket/client-appreciation-gift-ideas/.
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to make an impact. Sometimes it really is the little things that matter most (I’ve just written about his on my other blog: “Little Things Matter Way More Than You Realize”)—that phone call or thank you card, for example, will stand out, because very few businesses take the time to do them.
I would love to hear what you’ve done to show your customers how much you appreciate them. Leave a comment below.