37 Ways to Thank Your Customers
Improve your customer service and your bottom line by saying 'thanks' to customers.
As a small business owner, your company lives based on your customers. Want to improve your business? Focus on improving customer relations and keeping them happy.
Here are 37 ways you can express your appreciation to your customers -- which will hopefully make them more likely to stick with your business.
Do It the Old-Fashioned Way
Send a thank you note. It’s a simple but thoughtful gesture that holds even more meaning in our era of quickie tweets, posts and likes.
And the Modern Way
Make a digital thanks personal with a video posted on your business’ website or Facebook page.
On a regular basis, reach out to customers to find out how they’re doing.
Create a Warm, Welcoming Atmosphere in Your Office
If you regularly have customers visiting you, have coffee and treats readily available. Or take it a step further and turn your office into a relaxing oasis that people enjoy visiting. Play soothing music or offer 5-minute neck massages.
- Send Baked Goods
Extend this last idea with the gift of a yummy treat delivered to customers’ doors.
Or a Book
Find a book that is useful to your customers and give them complementary copies. Can afford books? Email or print out articles.
Don’t Try to Sell 24/7
Your customers don't want to feel like you're always trying to sell them something. Send a thanks by interacting in ways that don’t have a bottom line for your business.
Share Your Personal Side
Andrew Percey, founder of Prometheus Internet Marketing believes that people enjoy working with people, not “resources.” For Christmas last year, he sent clients a photo of himself with his family, along with a brief story about each of his two kids. Clients loved it and some even shared stories and pictures in return.
Recommend your company's customers -- individuals or businesses -- online via LinkedIn or Facebook.
Highlight Special Customers
Praise standout customers in a blog post on your website (ask their permission first, of course).
Your customers are often people who live locally. Show that you take pride in the neighborhood by posting a bulletin board with nearby events that your customers may be interested in.
Go One Step Further
Create “Customer Awards” on your website or Facebook page, and describe the ways in which you appreciate those selected.
Provide Relevant Information, and Often
Post intelligent, informative articles on various social media channels. Because most of your daily interaction with your customers is online and through social networks, says Cathy McPhillips, marketing director of Content Marketing Institute, you should focus on nurturing that relationship. For example, create daily blog posts and articles that will help your customers and then share them on your social sites.
An extra benefit? This tactic can help your business' SEO too!
Do you have any products that you offer or that reflect your business? Present them to your customers when they sign up or at a random time.
Donate to charities supported by customers.
Say Happy Anniversary
Celebrate customers who have been with you for a month or a year. Pull from a classic and send flowers and chocolate. Or just let them know you appreciate their loyalty and business.
And Happy Birthday
Have a party to celebrate the day your company started and invite your customers to share in the occasion.
Provide Learning Opportunities
Empower customers with knowledge about your business by hosting educational sessions or webinars, or by offering online classes.
Open Up Your Space
Small local groups often have a hard time finding meeting space. Offer a room in your business that groups can use. It will should how much you care about your customers and maybe those members will turn into customers.
Create a Rewards Program
Repay loyal customers with incentives, such as a free product or service for every ten purchased or used.
Throw a Party
Plan something special for no other reason than wanting to give your customers a good time.
Get Creative with a Branded Gift
Send out a small token of appreciation with your business’ name on it -- a pen, a mug or something unusual like a kazoo.
Send Cards on Lesser Known Holidays
Most businesses send out holiday cards, but what about the rest of the year? Show customers you’re thinking of them throughout the year by sending out cards for wacky holidays like "Love Your Pet Day" on February 20th if you run a pet care business.
Ask customers what you could be doing differently, better or more of.
Have a Meet and Greet
Put a face to your company by letting customers get to know you in person. Use it to practice active listening about customers’ needs, concerns, values and thoughts.
Look for local Meetups that are relevant to your business and customers. Get involved by offering to help plan activities or sponsor events.
Give Them a Voice
Invite a customer to speak about your business at a conference or event.
Plant a Tree in Their Honor
It’s not a common practice, which makes this gesture all the more unique and appreciated.
Find Meaningful Naming Opportunities
You could name a service or a product after a customer, or brainstorm another method of getting their name somewhere (and on something) meaningful.
Send a Personalized Gift
This isn’t a one-size-fits-all suggestion, but it shouldn’t be a challenge. Internet marketing expert Joan Holman says that “hopefully business owners will know a lot about their customers … when they do, they can often come up with some very special gift ideas.” She suggests a toy for their dog or cat or a grocery delivery for a family.
Be intentional about the little things, not just the big ones. When you have a small business, you should make every effort to know your customer's names or at least keep a listing of personal data (birthdays and pet names) that you can easily access.
Partner With Local Businesses
Are there any nearby businesses that complement your offerings? Get together and co-sponsor an event for customers. If you have a day care, maybe hold an info session at a local wine store for prospective parents. Run a pet sitting business? Pair with a local bakery that offers doggie treats and plan an event at a dog park.
Cut Through Red Tape
Let customers know they can contact you directly.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Do something nice for individual customers when it’s unexpected.
When you have leftovers from your daily business or special events, donate them to local charities.
Create Special Discounts
Do you have discounts for students, military members or single parents? It's a great way to target and pull in demographics in your area.
Get Back to Basics
The best gift you can give your customers is exceptional customer service. It says thank you with every interaction.
Alexandra Kadlec is a freelance writer. When not writing, doing crossword puzzles or playing competitive games of Scrabble, she is known to get effusive about modern art, Jane Austen and karaoke.
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