The official day for customer appreciation is April 18, but with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we don’t see why we can’t show a little love for our customers early.
Showing appreciation for customers isn’t just about trying to get them to buy more of your products or once again invest in your services. It’s about recognizing that without good customers, it doesn’t matter how well the business is run, it wouldn’t be a successful business.
Customers choose to trust you with their money, and good customers do it time and time again. It’s time to say thank you for that trust and loyalty.
How you say thank you will depend on your company and your customer base. For example, a B2B company that offers products to other businesses might not want to send over 1 stick of lip balm to their customers. Whereas it might not make much sense (or be feasible!) for a restaurant to write handwritten thank you notes to each and every person who has eaten there.
But, before we get into the nitty gritty and talk about ideas for showing customers how much you appreciate them, let’s discuss some overarching guidelines-no matter what kind of business you’re in.
Customer Appreciation Guidelines
Make it a genuine thank you
A real thank you has no room for a sales pitch. The show of appreciation should be just about that, not about trying to garner more sales.
Be consistent with your brand
Explained by William Arruda in an article for Forbes, “Brands are built through the consistent delivery of the brand promise through all stakeholder touch points.” Your method of customer appreciation is one of these stakeholder touch points. Even though you are not trying to sell anything, your brand i.e. who you are as a company, should still be apparent.
Now, we can talk about some specific ways to show customers just how much you appreciate their business. Remember, not all ideas will work for all businesses, and some ideas may not be consistent with your company’s brand, so you do what works for you.
6 Easy to Ways to Thank Your Customers
Social Media Shoutouts
Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Give a shoutout and a tag to beloved customers. There are endless possibilities for how to do this.
- You could feature customers as they come in to your place of business in your Instagram stories.
- You could compose a 140 character heartfelt thank you tweet on Twitter.
- You could like or share something that your customer is promoting.
- You could use social media as a platform for some type of giveaway.
This doesn’t just have to happen only once. You could make it a consistent park of your social media plan that every Monday you highlight a different customer. Be creative!
Give out discounts
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a discount. Whether you choose to do a general thank you by offering discounts to all customers for a certain amount of time, or you give individual customers special discounts, you really can’t go wrong here.
It’s always fun to offer unexpected and unadvertised discounts as well.
Acknowledge special occasions
Get to know your customers, especially if they are repeat customers, and celebrate special occasions with them. This includes the annual holiday card that your company sends out each December, but it can get even more personal than that.
For example, a few years ago my father received a package of onesies and bibs after the birth of his first grandchild from a company that his own business frequently works with. He was very touched by the acknowledgment of this special happening in his life.
Being aware of major events like this is an excellent way to show customers just how much they mean to you. Babies, weddings, company anniversaries, business milestones…celebrate them with your customers.
Write a handwritten note
Your mom was right-it is always polite to write a handwritten thank you note. They are much more personal than an email or a text. Your customers will be very overwhelmed and touched by the thought put into the note.
The etiquette gurus at The Emily Post Institute point out that thank you notes don’t have to be boring, however. “Incorporating photos, children’s drawings—anything at all that compliments the sentiment is appropriate. Just remember to include a short, written thank-you as well.”
Celebrate a Fun National Holiday
I’m talking about holidays like National Cookie Day (December 4), National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day (March 1), National Read Across America Day (March 1), or National Give Something Away Day (July 15). Use the fun holidays as a way to liven up the business day and thank your customers. Hand out cookies, donate books to schools, or give away free things to customers. For a full list of these national days, check out National Day Calendar.
Offer snacks and drinks
I love when I go to the hair salon and I am offered coffee and a cookie. I don’t always accept the offer, but I appreciate it every. single. time. Offer customers or clients a cup of coffee or tea, sparkling water, or some chocolate when they come in. If this isn’t possible to do on a regular basis, try doing it weekly or monthly, depending on the nature of the business.
Looking for more advice? Contact us at Lumen Advisory and Finance. Happy Valentine’s Day!