Part 1 of this series discussed the importance of customer appreciation and why having a strategy to show your gratitude is crucial to your business.
We all like to feel valued and appreciated. In fact, 79 percent of customers want brands that “understand and care about” them. Customer appreciation ideas founded on a sincere desire to please your customers can be very successful.
Here are 12 low-cost ways to show your gratitude for your customer’s business.
1. Send “We miss you” notes. Get in touch with past customers through a “We miss you” note that lets them know you want to welcome them back. Consider including a coupon or other incentive.
2. Give some freebies. Offer free or low-cost items with your logo on them, or give a treat like a gourmet cookie.
3. Offer samples. Free trials, test drives, and beta programs allow you to promote products while giving something of value to your customer.
4. Cover a customer’s cost occasionally. Randomly give a customer their purchase for free, or cover their service charges or other associated fees.
5. Send coupons their way. Think of the Sunday newspaper. Coupons remain an effective way to reward customers for their business.
6. Promote giveaways and contests. Everyone looks forward to the chance to win a prize or gift with purchase, and many people appreciate the opportunity to win a contest that sparks their competitive side.
7. Sponsor others’ giveaways. Local schools’ sporting events or contests show you appreciate the community. People will remember your generosity.
8. Show your appreciation for customer referrals. Take the time to personally thank a customer for a referral – even if the referral didn’t result in a sale.
9. Pay attention to your social media advocates. Respond to everything on all channels. Make a point to respond to reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.
10. Train your staff to use first names. A customer’s first name personalizes transactions. We all like to feel our interactions are personal and that we matter as individuals.
11. Invest in good customer service. A company that makes things right, that resolves problems, that address dissatisfaction earnestly and politely, makes people feel appreciated.
12. Ask for feedback and let customers know how you use it. Give your customers a voice when they interact with your brand. Let them know about specific improvements you’ve instituted in response to their comments.
Tokens of gratitude can endear customers for the shorter term. Long-term business success entails more of an effort, of course. It begins with personally connecting with buyers. Conversations with your customers, online or face-to-face, cost you nothing and are sure to generate new insights and fresh perspectives for you.
Listening to your customers means you are encouraging people to be loyal to your brand, make multiple purchases, and give more referrals. You promote customer longevity. You become a customer-centric company, which means your values revolve around the role your customer plays as being the focal point of your long-term success. And the longer your customer’s relationship with your brand, the more that customer tends to spend. You’ll be grateful for that!